Moved by the scene of a deadly fire in Brazil last month, the city of Oxford has banned the use of pyrotechnics indoors in a Feb. 5 Board of Aldermen meeting.
After the Jan. 27 fire that killed 233 people in the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, Oxford city officials felt it necessary to install policies designed to protect residents and visitors from unsafe pyrotechnic displays in a Feb. 5 Board of Aldermen meeting.
The city of Oxford enacted a formal ban on open flames, pyrotechnics and the ignition of smoking devices in public meeting areas or structures.
City ordinance codes describe pyrotechnics as “any firecrackers, Roman candles, torpedoes, sky rockets, and any and all explosives which are now or may hereafter be classified as ‘common fireworks.’”
The sale, purchase or storage of fireworks in Oxford is prohibited as well. Additionally, all open fires lit outdoors in public space must first be approved by the city.
“The national code leaves it to the local jurisdictions to write in the ordinances,” said Randy Barber, a building official for the city of Oxford.
According to Tim Burkhead, head of production at The Lyric, there has never been a band that has used pyrotechnics at the popular venue.
“We’ve never had an issue,” Burkhead said.
“No bands have asked us, and we wouldn’t have let them if they had.”
Burkhead said that he had not spoken to anyone with the city about the ban and heard about the new ordinance on his own.
“I was never asked about it,” he said.
“I found out about it afterward. I think that Brazilian nightclub fire sparked it, and (the city) wanted to nip it in the bud.”
Any violation of the new Oxford fire ordinance will be categorized as a misdemeanor that results in a penalty of up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail.