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Lexington Police Department: 'If it goes up or blows up, it's illegal'

Lexington Police Lieutenant Paul Boyles suggests fireworks lovers attend a public show tomorrow night, rather than shooting off illegal and potentially dangerous items.
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Lexington Police Lieutenant Paul Boyles suggests fireworks lovers attend a public show tomorrow night, rather than shooting off illegal and potentially dangerous items.

Police and sheriff’s departments across Kentucky are likely to be extra busy Thursday as people celebrate Independence Day by shooting off fireworks. Lexington Police Lieutenant Paul Boyles said their rule of thumb is, “If it goes up or blows up, it’s illegal in Fayette County.” He said the department responds to every fireworks complaint.

“We may not be able to get to all of them in a particularly timely manner, but if we do receive, particularly in an area with a significant number of calls for a specific location, obviously that will have priority over a single call, over a single bottle rocket or something like that.”

Boyles said fireworks laws are designed to protect people and property.

“These are things that are using gunpowder and other explosives, and they don't always work the way people intend. Roman candles can fall over quicker than expected. Fuses, things like that, have all caused personal injury as well as injury to property.”

Boyles suggested fireworks lovers attend one of the many public shows tomorrow night. According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, last year, fireworks were a factor in at least eight non-occupational deaths and 9,700 trips to hospital emergency departments.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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