City of Providence cracking down on spike of illegal fireworks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Providence City Officials announced the city will be cracking down on fireworks less than two weeks from when ABC 6 News first reported numerous fireworks complaints

On Friday, the city of Providence announced that Mayor Jorge Elorza and City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan, in collaboration with Providence Public Safety Officials, are coordinating together in a joint effort to crack down on local banned firework use and sales.

The city of Providence will now require any vendor selling fireworks to hold a firework sale permit. Vendors selling in multiple locations must submit separate applications for each selling spot. Each permit will be valid for one year and cost $50.

“The health and well-being of our residents is our top priority,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We encourage residents to please be mindful of their neighbors’ safety and to not use dangerous fireworks or explosives, particularly in our densely-packed neighborhoods.”

Current Rhode Island law states that only ground and hand-held sparkling devices are legal for use by the general public. Firecrackers, rockets, mortars, or any other device that launches a projectile and/or makes a “bang” are illegal.  

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan added, “I convened members of my staff, members from the Mayor’s staff, Commissioner Steven Paré and Chief Hugh Clements and their teams to discuss a coordinated outreach effort.  What became apparent was the need to educate our residents about the laws surrounding fireworks, and the negative impacts they have on our community members. All too often, we forget that fireworks can have an adverse effect on many of our neighbors – from the elderly, to families with small children, to veterans and others suffering from PTSD, and is harmful to companion animals. Along with the education of our residents, we also must focus our efforts on regulating the illegal sale of fireworks in our city. In addition to this meeting, last night I also introduced a resolution requesting that the City Council, the Chief of Police, the City’s Fire Marshall, and the Director of the Board of Licenses coordinate our efforts to better mitigate the discharge of illegal fireworks with the City. With this plan in place, I believe we can mitigate this issue in a coordinated and calculated manner.”

Residents of Providence are urged to file a complaint or report the use of illegal fireworks by contacting the Providence Police Department’s non-emergency line (401) 272-3121 or by using the Online Police Reporting System.

Categories: News