Fireworks Safety in Arizona
As the Fourth of July quickly approaches, fireworks tend to be a common topic of interest. Firework laws can be confusing – especially in Arizona. The state lifted its ban on the sale of fireworks in 2010 and permitted individual counties to create their own laws. This contributed to the confusion, as vendors then began selling fireworks in areas where their customers could not legally use them. Although the state has since revised its firework laws, most people are unaware of these revisions and how to practice proper fireworks safety.
Arizona Firework Laws
If you are a resident of Arizona or plan on celebrating the Fourth of July there, it is important to know the firework safety laws. The Phoenix Fire Department strongly urges the public to attend their professionally staged firework show. This is a less hazardous than risking breaking the law, starting a fire, or causing an injury.
When are fireworks permissible?
The sale of permissible fireworks to the public is from May 20 to July 6 and December 10 to January 3. The use of permissible fireworks by the public is from June 24 to July 6 and December 24 to January 3.
What types of fireworks are permissible?
Not all fireworks are illegal. The list of permissible fireworks includes snappers, snap caps, glow worms, snakes, party poppers, toy smoke devices, and sparklers. In addition, cylindrical and cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, and ground sparkling devices are also permissible.
What are the penalties for illegal fireworks use?
Fireworks are illegal for individuals under the age of 16. The penalty for selling, buying, or using fireworks outside the permissible dates is a fine of $1,000. Using fireworks on prevention land in the City of Phoenix is a class 1 misdemeanor also punishable by a $1,000 fine. For manufacturers, the sale of fireworks in a space larger than 800 square feet requires a fire prevention permit. The Phoenix Planning and Development Department Zoning Division may require additional permits and zoning approval.
What about amnesty?
There is no reprimand if you turn in illegal fireworks to a local fire station. If you wish to report the use of illegal fireworks, contact the local police department.
Firework Safety Tips
Although some fireworks may be illegal, there are ways to safely enjoy the permissible ones. Firework safety tips ensure the safety of the individual using fireworks and others around them. These safety tips also help prevent devastating fires and fire damage.
- Don’t let small children play with or light fireworks.
- Don’t toss fireworks at other people.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign of much more powerful fireworks intended for professional displays. They could pose a danger to consumers.
- Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket or light them in cans or bottles.
- Avoid allowing any part of your body to be directly over fireworks when lighting them. Go a safe distance away from the fireworks immediately after lighting them.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes when dealing with fireworks.
- Don’t light fireworks indoors or near dry grassy areas.
- Douse the spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose after they stop burning and to prevent a trash fire when discarding them.
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. Don’t stand over unexploded fireworks to investigate them. Put it out with water and properly dispose of it.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before using them.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents are often unaware that small children can suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt some metals.
- If a child suffers an injury cause by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage.
- Don’t point fireworks at homes. Avoid using them near brush, dry leaves and other flammable substances.
- Have water and/or a properly charged fire extinguisher nearby and know how to operate it properly.
Contact your local fire department for more information if you are ever unsure about firework safety or fire prevention. If you or a loved one was injured due to a defective firework product, contact us. The Phoenix product liability lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. offer free consultations to explore your legal options.