Is Your Firework Display Legal? Understand Maui County’s Firework Laws
As we head into the Fourth of July, many Maui residents are preparing for an evening of star-spangled banners, refreshing beverages, and friendly neighborhood rivalries over who will put on the best fireworks display.
But, unless you have a permit for that 35-foot rocket launcher, you may be crossing the legal line this year.
Fireworks in the State of Hawaii are governed by Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) Chapter 132D, the State Fire Code, and local County ordinances. HRS § 132D-17.5 allows counties to enact ordinances that are more stringent in the control or prohibition of fireworks than Chapter 132D.
HRS § 132D-3 allows “consumer fireworks” to be set off on the Fourth of July from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. “Consumer fireworks” are defined as fireworks designed primarily for sale to the public that are designed to remain “at or new the ground.” They consist of items common known as firecrackers, snakes, sparklers, fountains, and cylindrical or cone fountains that emit effects up to a height not greater than 12 feet above ground, illuminating torches, bamboo cannons, whistles, toy smoke devices, wheels, and ground spinners that when ignited remain within a circle with a radius of twelve feet.
However, Maui County Code (“MCC”), has adopted more stringent rules, and requires a permit for up to 5,000 firecrackers that may only be set off during the times specified above. There is no limit to the number of permits a customer can purchase; however, applicants must be 18 years or older and must show proof of age. The permits cost $25 and can be purchased at the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau at 313 Manea Place, Wailuku, open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Other types of “aerial” fireworks (i.e. not consumer fireworks), require an Arial Fireworks Use and Purchase Permit. These permits must be applied for at least 20 days in advance of the date of the display. The Aerial Firework permits cost $110.00, plus a $200.00 inspection fee per show. Permits will only be issued to applicants who can provide an insurance certificate, pyrotechnics license, authorization letter from the landowner, authorization letter from the FAA, and licenses to import, wholesale, store, etc. explosives in the State of Hawaii, if applicable.
Applicants must also provide a site map showing dimensions to the public, safety zone, etc., as well as an overview of the display, including a detailed inventory, and security and safety plans. Depending on the location of the intended display, authorization may also be required from the DLNR and/or US Coast Guard. These permits are also processed by the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau. After the display, a Post-Display Report must be submitted to the Bureau within 5 days.
For more information contact:
Department of Fire and Public Safety
Fire Prevention Bureau
313 Manea Place
Wailuku, HI 96793