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Fireworks Ordinance


23.13 Prohibition and Regulation of Fireworks. [7][8][9]
A. In accordance with the provisions of RSA 160-C, it shall be illegal for any person, firm, partnership or corporation to offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, purchase, possess, use, explode or display any permissible fireworks within the City of Rochester, except as specifically provided for in this ordinance.

B. As used in this ordinance:

i. “Display” means the use, explosion, activation, ignition, discharge, firing or any other activity which is intended to cause or which causes a firework to do what it was manufactured to do.

ii. “Permissible fireworks” means those consumers firework devices defined as “permissible fireworks” in RSA 160-C, as the same currently exists or as, from time to time, hereinafter amended.

iii. “Fire Chief” means the Fire Chief of the City of Rochester or his/her designee.

iv. “Police Chief” means the Police Chief of the City of Rochester or his/her designee.

C. Subject to, and in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 160-C of the New
Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated it shall be lawful to possess and/or display permissible fireworks upon compliance with the following requirements:

i. A person who is 21 years of age or older may display permissible fireworks on private property with the written consent of the owner or in the owner’s presence, subject to the provisions of this ordinance and RSA Chapter 160-C, and any other applicable ordinance regulation or statute.

ii. No display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted within the City except between the hours of 6 PM and 11 PM on Saturdays in the months of June and July and between the hours of 6 PM and 10 PM on Saturdays between the months of August through May. Permissible fireworks shall be permitted on the following holidays; Labor Day, Fourth of July (including the evening of July 3rd beginning at 6PM, including from such time until midnight on any rain date established for the annual city-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds), on New Year’s Eve (December 31st), provided, however, that on New Year’s Eve such display shall be permitted to occur between the hours of 6 PM on December 31st and 1:00 AM on January 1st.

iii. The display of permissible fireworks shall be of such a character, and so located and conducted, that it shall not be hazardous to property or endanger any person. In accordance with the provisions of RSA Chapter 160-C no permissible fireworks shall be permitted on public property and must be at least 50 feet from nearby buildings, nearby trees, electrical and telephone lines or other overhead obstructions, and the location of any nearby storage of flammable or combustible liquids or gases.

iv. No permissible fireworks may be used, discharged, exploded, or displayed during periods of very high or extreme fire danger as determined by the Fire Chief or the NH Division of Forests and Lands.

v. Permissible fireworks may be used, discharged, exploded, or displayed in a manner such that any all discharge debris shall remain within the property lines of the lot on which the display originates.

vi. Anyone using permissible fireworks shall be responsible for removing any debris accumulated due to the discharge of fireworks that fall onto the public way, public property, and any private property twenty-four hours. Anyone failing to remove such debris shall be financially responsible for its clean up.

vii. Display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted on public property the evening of July 3rd beginning at 6PM, including from such time until midnight on any rain date established for the annual city-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds, provided that such display shall be authorized in a duly issued Block Party Application/Permit from the City’s Licensing Board covering the public property on which the display is to occur.”
[11]

D. A violation of this ordinance shall be subject to the penalties provided for in Chapter 23, Section 23.11, Penalty, of the City of Rochester General Ordinance.

E. This ordinance shall be construed consistently with NH Code of Administrative Rules Saf c 2600, as made applicable by state statute and as adopted by reference in Section 23.1, of the General Ordinances of the City of Rochester, and is not meant to repeal any section thereof. Nothing in this ordinance shall be interpreted so as to conflict with the provisions of Chapters 160-B or 160-C of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, as currently written, or as from time to time hereafter amended. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be deemed a separate, distinct independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.  11-9-10

F. The Police Chief or Fire Chief may suspend the use of permissible fireworks for any of the following reasons:

i. Unfavorable weather conditions, including but not limited to, lightning storms or high wind conditions exceeding 20 miles per hour or higher.

ii. If any person under the age of 21 possesses, uses, discharges or explodes, used, discharged or exploded any permissible firework device.

iii. If any person who is using, discharging, exploding, or displaying the permissible fireworks appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

iv. If, in the opinion of the Police Chief or Fire Chief, the use, discharge, exploding, or display of permissible fireworks would create a threat to public safety.

G. The Police Chief and/or Fire Chief are authorized to seize, take, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the owner, all firework devices that are being discharged in violation of this ordinance.”

[1] Amended 2/8/2000
[2] Amended 3/7/2006
[3] Amended 6/6/2006
[4] Amended 6/6/2006
[5] Amended 1/2/2007
[6] Amended 3/6/2007
[7] New Section Added 3/4/08
[8] Amended 11/9/10
[9] Amended/ Replaced Chapter 23.13
[10] Replaced [ii] 6/6/2013
[11] New Section added on 6/6/2013


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