More fireworks are legal to use in Phoenix this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe.

Fire officials are warning residents that even sparklers can cause serious damage.

“A sparkler burns at 1,400 degrees,” said Brian Scholl, fire inspector with the Phoenix Fire Department. “At the beginning of June, we had an incident with a young boy playing with sparklers got too close to something and started a fire in his home.”

A new state law this year clarifies the fireworks laws that were in place in the past. In previous years, municipalities had different rules on which fireworks could be used, though even ones that weren’t legal to use were legal to be sold. The new law puts tougher restrictions on the sale of fireworks but makes all municipalities equal for what is legal to use.

Sparklers and novelty items can be used year-round. Ground spinners and various other fireworks that stay on the ground but shoot large rounds of sparks are permissible to use from June 24 through July 6 and again near New Year’s Eve.

Any fireworks that go into the air or explode are still illegal. There is a $1,000 fine for anyone that sales or uses those items.

The Phoenix Fire Department’s busiest day of the year is July 4. Because the holiday is on a Friday this year, officials are predicting a rise in fires all weekend long.

The city of Phoenix encourages residents to enjoy fireworks by attending an organized fireworks show. In Ahwatukee Foothills, the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce will be holding its annual Red, White and Boom fireworks show on July 3 at the Ahwatukee Country Club.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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