South Bend Fireworks Regulations - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Fireworks Regulations

With the Fourth of July coming up, Michiana retailers are getting ready for a busy month. The Regional Manager at World's Cheapest Fireworks, Alex Elsea, says his store isn't even open during the rest of the year.

"We just come in for this one month and just spend the first three weeks getting ready for that mad rush the week of the Fourth and the week before the Fourth of July," Elsea said.

Elsea says most of his customers purchase fireworks for backyard shows, but that's illegal most of the year in South Bend. Each municipality has its own laws regarding when you can ignite fireworks (You can find information for Mishawaka, Elkhart, and South Bend here). South Bend Fire Department Captain Ron Simons says the rules have gotten stricter over time.

"When it goes off, where it lands nobody knows. If it lands in some concealed area,on a roof, in some shrubs, it can-maybe not immediately, but over a period of time, a few hours-start a fire," Captain Simons said.

In the city of South Bend you can set off fireworks from 5-11 pm June 29th through July 9th. On July 4th those hours are extended from 10 am to midnight. Another important rule to keep in mind is to only ignite fireworks on your own property. Local Police and Fire Departments will enforce these rules.

"There's an escalating rate of fines that you will receive. Up to $500 or more if you're in violation," Captain Simons said.

Elsea points out that another way to keep safe is wetting down your launch area before lighting fireworks.

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