Local/Regional News
2:28 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Vendors, Fire Service React To Fireworks Ban

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sustained high temperatures coupled with a newly announced ban on personal fireworks are taking a heavy toll on business at local fireworks stands, but some sellers and customers are hoping to salvage this year’s celebrations.

It’s July 3rd, Christmas Eve for fireworks vendors, and Curtis Miller is looking at an empty tent.

"Hopefully it rains today -- all day -- and we'll be able to get some business tomorrow," he says.

Miller is working a tent off Nicholasville Road for Patriotic Fireworks out of Indianapolis. He says hundred degree heat had already put a damper on sales even before Mayor Jim Gray issued the ban, which was a first for Miller, who worked the same spot last year.

"It does seem to definitely put a dip in the business because people are scared. They don't want to get ticketed," Miller says.

But Miller says this year hasn’t been a total loss and some buyers will undoubtedly wait out the ban. In the meantime, Battalion Chief Ed Davis with the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services says there are a few simple guidelines for storing fireworks.

"As long as they're in a cool, dry place and away from any kind of a heat source or open flame, then it's normally fine. They're very, very stable. They're considered very safe as far as that goes," he says.

Davis notes that anyone tempted to violate the ban should be aware just how fast fires can get out of control given the current conditions in Lexington – especially mortars and other explosive fireworks.  

"Those things burn at such an intense temperature that it sets anything it comes into contact with on fire when it's this dry," Davis warns.

Should any relief from those conditions arise, Curtis Miller says his tent may stay put longer than usual.

"We'll see and I'd say we'll probably stay as long as it can, seeing as how the business isn't as good as it could be right now," he says.

The ban is set to stay in effect until the city lifts an open burning ban it issued last week.