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Collection of unwanted, illegal, damaged fireworks (April 27)

MEDIA RELEASE

Fire Chief Darren Rosario has announced the implementation of a program designed for the collection of unwanted, illegal, and/or damaged fireworks. Until now, no program existed to allow for the proper disposal of unwanted fireworks.

The county Fire Department will be conducting a “one day only” fireworks collection campaign.

Members of the public will be able to drop off their unwanted fireworks at four locations islandwide Saturday, April 27. Those wishing to participate can contact the HFD Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get more information regarding drop off locations and drop off times.

The Fire Department has been receiving inquiries from the public regarding proper disposal methods of fireworks.

Improperly stored fireworks can create both a fire and public safety hazard. A significant amount of consumers do not use all fireworks purchased during the New Year or Fourth of July holidays. The unused product is then stored with the intent of being used during the next permissible occasion.

Should a fire occur, the stored fireworks may add to the intensity and spread of the fire, and can pose serious safety concerns. Old and damaged fireworks are dangerous because they may not function as designed.

Fireworks in general have the potential to cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and even death.

Be advised that these fireworks are dangerous and utmost care must be taken to keep them away from any spark or open flame. Fireworks may be soaked in water overnight and dried prior to transporting them to one of the drop off locations.

No other hazardous materials or explosive products will be accepted. Acceptable items will include all types of fireworks, fountains, sparklers, firecrackers, cakes, rockets, etc.

In addition, you may also turn in any “aerial luminary devices.” The state deemed it illegal to buy, sell, use, possess, ignite, or cause to ignite any such aerial luminary device.

An aerial luminary device is defined as any homemade or manufactured device that has an open flame and which can be send airborne or adrift, leaving the height and distance it travels to be determined by existing atmospheric conditions.

These devices can start brushfires as well as entangle in electrical lines, and even has the ability to hit an aircraft if it drifts near an airport or in a vicinity of an aircraft.

The common brands found here are “Sky Lanterns” and “Hawai‘i Lanterns.”

For further information, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).

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