City of Conway considering banning residents from using fireworks

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Conway is one of the few municipalities in Horry County that still allows fireworks, but that could change soon.

Conway’s Police Chief Reggie Gosnell presented possible changes to the city’s fireworks ordinance at Monday night’s city council meeting, after receiving numerous complaints from city residents this past 4th of July. “The biggest complaint is noise from after 10 PM till about till around 11 and 12 midnight. Specifically, when those holidays fall on a Sunday or during the week, when most people expect to get up and be at work the next morning,” said Gosnell.

People living in Conway are only allowed to set off consumer-grade fireworks on July 4th and New Year’s Eve, until 12:30 AM. After receiving so many noise complaints, the city is now talking about changing when residents can use them -“moving the time back to 10 PM to make it more consistent with our noise ordinance,” Gosnell said. He also suggested changing where people can set fireworks off.  “Some cities have restricted it to certain non-fire zones which may be an industrial area or a commercial setting,” Gosnell added.

City leaders are also considering banning residents from firing them altogether. “One [option] would be restricting it to public displays only, which would require a city permit and a state fire marshal permit for general displays,” said Chief Gosnell.

The Conway Fire Department says it supports the proposed changes. “Any time you use fireworks or pyrotechnics, you always have the potential for injury, even if they’re used properly, you still have accident injury,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Carter. He says Conway’s dense population creates a greater fire hazard. “Once you light a firework, you don’t know where it’s going. It can go in your neighbor’s roof, flower bed or your neighbor’s car. It’s an issue for us because it creates several calls because of that and loss of property due to a fire.”

Chief Gosnell says he’ll discuss the proposed changes with City Council again at the next meeting in August, and provide council with more information on the changes. The city plans to make the changes by the end of the year. There will be a public hearing on the matter before then.