NYE Fireworks - Keeping it Legal & Safe

December 29, 2011

Public safety advocates are spreading the word that although it's legal to buy fireworks any place in Arizona, it's illegal to use them in many places.  From Phoenix, KJZZ's Lynn Kelly reports.

Since the Arizona Legislature opened the door to fireworks in 2010 by allowing their sale, it is still very possible that it is illegal in your community since many cities and counties can ban or restrict their use.

City of Tempe Fire Investigator Mike Reichling says that in their city, firework vendors are required to provide that information to the consumer. 

"That's part of the permit process that the fireworks vendors have agreed to. And they have that information available to the consumer as they purchase the fireworks." (Voice:  City of Tempe Fire Investigator Mike Reichling)

Reichling says that while Tempe allows for novelty fireworks - handheld sparklers, party poppers and the like - ground-based sparklers in cylindrical, square, cone or rocket shapes as well as aerial fireworks like roman candles, firecrackers and bottle rockets are illegal. 

And if you violate the law in Tempe, it could be costly...

"The consquences you could have 6-months in jail or a $2500 fine." (Voice:  City of Tempe Fire Investigator Mike Reichling)

The US Consumer Product Safety Commissions's 2010 Fireworks Annual Report says fireworks were involved in an estimated 86-hundred injuries treated in US hospital emergency rooms during 2010 with children under the ages of 15 accounting for 40% of those injuries.

So while it might be legal to buy 'em, knowing the law in your area this New Years Eve is still the burden of the consumer to keep it legal & to keep it safe.

For KJZZ, I'm Lynn Kelly.

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