SCARBOROUGH – It’s an issue that’s raised sparks in other towns, but it appears fireworks will fly in Scarborough, at least for the time being.

The consumer fireworks law passed by the state Legislature this past spring does not take effect until Jan. 1, 2012. However, some communities have moved already to take advantage of wording in the new law giving cities and towns the right to pass local restrictions.

Tonight, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, the issue was scheduled for debate before the Scarborough Town Council, with an additional vetting at the Sept. 12 ordinance committee meeting.

Town Manager Tom Hall says it seems unlikely Scarborough will pass a ban, or even a permit requirement.

“I asked all of my relevant department heads to take a look at the new law and everybody seems relatively comfortable with it,” he said, last week.

However, Hall did say other changes could be in the offing, particularly regarding sprinkler system requirements in town.

Currently, Scarborough does not mandate the use of residential sprinkler system, although Fire Chief Michael Thurlow has said he supports the idea. In the past two years, sprinkler rules have gone on the books in Portland, Westbrook and Rockland, while towns including Falmouth, Gorham and Sanford have passed limited mandates, in the case of new subdivision homes where no other water source for firefighting purposes is available. Earlier this summer, South Portland also began the process of mandating sprinkler systems, with an ordinance proposal unveiled at a city council workshop meeting.

Portland was first to begin the process for restricting fireworks. On Aug. 10 its public safety committee recommended a local ban. Portland Fire Chief Fred LaMontagne pointed out at the time that Portland can do nothing to restrict possession of fireworks. However, he stumped for a ban on allowing them to be sold or ignited within city limits.


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