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Police remind residents of fireworks laws, safety

Albert Lea police are reminding residents of laws and safety measures surrounding fireworks moving into the week of the Fourth of July.

The department has received numerous fireworks complaints calls in the last few weeks, and there has been some frustration that they are going off all over town. Law enforcement have said they think there will be an increase in the use of fireworks with the cancellation of organized Fourth of July activities.

Albert Lea Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson said by the time people call with complaints and an officer responds, it is often too late to figure out where the fireworks originated. Officers are now suspecting some people are driving around and lighting them off.

He said officers have written a few citations, and as of Thursday afternoon, there had not been any injuries.

The main concerns from people who have called them in are that they are too disruptive and they are being lit off at unreasonable hours.

The Albert Lea Police Department Facebook page said this week officers will handle fireworks complaints the same as they do other low-level violations. Calls for service will be created and information will be given to patrol officers as they are available, but based on staffing and predicted call volume through the Fourth of July week, they may not be able to respond to every fireworks complaint.

When time permits, they will respond to educate, encourage compliance and enforce state laws regarding possession of illegal fireworks.

“We strongly encourage all community members to consider and respect their neighbors, keeping in mind that fireworks can be very stressful on family pets and persons who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,” the Facebook page stated.

It is a misdemeanor for people to possess or use fireworks that are explosive or aerial in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety outlines what is legal and illegal to possess or use in the state.

 

Legal

• Wire or wood sparklers of not more than 100 grams of mixture per item.

• Other sparkling items which are nonexplosive and non aerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical mixture per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes (cylindrical fountain, cone fountain, illuminating torch, wheel, ground spinner, flitter sparkler, flash/strobe)

• Novelty items such as snake and glow worms, smoke devices, or trick noisemakers consisting of not more than 25 hundredths grains of explosive mixture. 

 

Illegal without a permit and by the use of a state-certified operator

• Any fireworks that are explosive

• Any fireworks that are aerial

• Firecrackers, ladyfingers, sky rockets, bottle rockets, missile type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, planes, UFOs, Roman candles, mines or shells, chasers, parachutes, 1.3G display fireworks, aerial shells, theatrical pyrotechnics.