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Specific Location Required on Fireworks Complaints

Staff reports

Rochester Fire Department Chief Willie Jackson on June 17, 2020, at the Public Safety Building during a news conference about fireworks. Patti Singer/Minority Reporter Media Group

Residents reporting the use of illegal fireworks need to have a specific address when calling 911.

The Rochester Police Department requests that residents report illegal fireworks. But without the specific location, “the police department cannot properly address the annoyance or dangerous condition created by illegal fireworks,” according to a news release.

On June 17, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and Rochester Fire Department Chief Willie Jackson held a news conference to address the increased use of fireworks and complaints generate by the noise and disruptions. They said illegal fireworks often are used to mark holidays and special events, but the use is ahead of what’s usually expected around July 4.

Jackson said that each year nationally, there are more than 10,000 injuries and 19,000 structure fires related to the use of illegal fireworks.

Fireworks affect quality of life. RPD asks that residents respect their neighbors.

Enforcement for the possession and use of illegal fireworks range from the issuance of a ticket for violating municipal code related to noise to criminal charges.

Municipal Code 75-4. Excessive noise prohibited:

  • Audible beyond the property line of the premises from which it emanates between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Audible at a distance of 50 feet beyond the property line of the premises from which it emanates between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Audible at a distance of 50 feet from the source if emanating from a public street, public park or other public place.

New York state penal law charge 270.002.(2) b (i)

  • Possession or use of fireworks.

Sparkling devices are for sale legally in Monroe County. These small consumer fireworks have strict guidelines:

Sparkling devices are ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke.

The law limits the type, size and construction of sparkling devices and requires that these devices must be hand-held or mounted on a base or spike and be limited in sizes that range from 1 to 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition.

Sparkling devices are illegal in Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester counties.