Changes in the state’s fireworks law are making more types of fireworks legal to use in Phoenix, but fire officials hope people will still choose to not light off any themselves.
The new law was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April. It defines permissible fireworks for all cities as ground sparkling devices, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, sparkling wheels and ground spinners. Those items could be purchased in Phoenix last year but not used within the city.
Those permissible fireworks will be sold May 20 through July 6 and Dec. 10 through Jan. 3. They can be used June 24 through July 6 and Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. Novelty items like sparklers, party poppers and smoker devices have no regulations.
Illegal fireworks include anything designed to rise in the air and explode including firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, aerial spinners, roman candles and aerial shells. The sale and use of these fireworks is illegal.
“The permissible fireworks are still very dangerous,” said Brian Scholl, fire prevention specialist with the Phoenix Fire Department. “They get very hot. They can cause fires… We would like everyone to not use fireworks at all in the city of Phoenix. That’s why we have so many city-sponsored firework events.”
Scholl said the Fourth of July is the city’s busiest day each year for fires.
“We have been in a drought for many years,” he said. “Conditions are perfect that if you went into your backyard and had a lot of vegetation and started using even the permissible stuff, you could easily start a fire out there.”
The use of fireworks on preservation land owned by the city of Phoenix is a Class 1 misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000.
If a kiosk is selling illegal fireworks the Phoenix Fire Department urges people to call them so they can inspect the business.
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