**Editor's Note: Fireworks usage and sales are NOT permitted within the city limits of Donaldsonville or Gonzales. The Town of Sorrento DOES allow fireworks to be popped between the hours of 10 a.m.-1 a.m. on December 31 and January 1.

Following a favorable outcome to a 2017 New Year’s fireworks sales enforcement case, a Kenner man has been allowed to sell retail fireworks once again.

Around this time last year, deputies received a tip about illegal fireworks sales occurring in a residential neighborhood in a parish that does not authorize fireworks commerce.

Following an undercover operation, deputies issued a summons for unpermitted sales and seized more than $10,000 in merchandise.

The case finally wrapped up last week with the individual obtaining the proper permitting for sales in a legal location this New Year’s sales season. In addition, while a portion of the seized product was returned, the rest was withheld for destruction for non-compliance.

More than 350 retail fireworks permits have been issued for the 2018 Christmas/New Year’s season, as it is state law for wholesale and retail fireworks business operators to be licensed by the SFM in order to open up shop. Sales extend from December 15 through January 1.

We advise families to be mindful of whether the stand they are purchasing from has been permitted by this office.

In addition, we’d like to inform families of the types of retail fireworks that are and are not considered legal in the State of Louisiana. Legal items can be readily identified by a safety warning on the packaging with labeling that includes either “1.4G” and/or “UN 336.” Consumers should refrain from purchasing, and report to the SFM, loose or unpackaged fireworks with no label.

The SFM encourages reporting any suspicious or illegal selling of fireworks to 1-800-256-5452 or by visiting our website, lasfm.org

To those citizens of the State who intend to use fireworks during the upcoming holiday, the SFM offers the following fireworks safety suggestions:

--Always read and follow the label directions carefully.

--Always have a garden hose or water bucket nearby for medical emergencies and/or to douse spent or misfired fireworks.

--Adults should always supervise fireworks activity.

--Fireworks should be placed on a hard, smooth surface prior to ignition. NEVER light fireworks in your hand.

--Light one firework at a time, and move away quickly after lighting.

--Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars, or buildings.

--Keep fireworks away from small children.

--Do not alter or make your own fireworks.

--After displays, never pick up fireworks that may be left over.

“Celebrating what each New Year can bring to us and our families can be a safe experience,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “But it’s up to each of us to make safety a priority during those celebrations, especially when fireworks are involved.”

Contributed by the Office of Louisiana State Fire Marshal