With the ban on fireworks lifted in the city of Lebanon, citizens will now be able to celebrate New Years Eve and ring in 2014 with a bang.
Earlier this year, city council lifted a ban on shooting and selling fireworks inside the city limits. The ban was nearly a decade old and was originally installed because of people shooting fireworks at police officers.
According to the ordinance passed in February, fireworks may only be sold and used within the city from June 20 through July 5 and from Dec. 10 through Jan. 2.
The ordinance also states that it is illegal to shoot off fireworks between the hours of 10 p.m. and 10 a.m.
However, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 are exceptions and fireworks are allowed “the two hours before and one hour after the start of the new year.”
Lebanon Police chief Scott Bowen said he didn’t think law enforcement officials would have many problems with fireworks on New Year’s Eve, as opposed to the Fourth of July, because of the weather.
“One big issue with fireworks is that it’s dry in the summer. Most of the problems we have with fireworks on the Fourth comes from the weather being hot and everything being dry,” Bowen said. “In December and January the weather’s cold and normal, so I don’t think there will be any issues with that.”
Though police received “a few calls” on the Fourth of July, Bowen said he didn’t see New Year’s Eve being a big problem.
“I think there’s a lot more people out on the Fourth anyway, and they also shoot them for several days more around then,” Bowen said.
Safety-wise, Bowen said that police ask that those who plan to shoot fireworks be careful and respectful.
“Obviously we want everyone to be safe and smart, so the big thing is to be careful and mindful of children and to be respectful of your neighbors,” Bowen said.
Bowen said, above all, they ask for people to be hyper-vigilant when ringing in the coming year.
“We ask that people not shoot fireworks off too late, but that’s kind of tough with New Year’s Eve,” Bowen said. “Just please be respectful of others and don’t shoot off any fireworks at anyone or at others’ dwellings.”