The pop, crackle and whiz of fireworks this July 4 may be a little quieter than normal as supply-chain issues have caused shortages of the dazzle devices and caused cities to cancel several public displays.
Here’s what you need to know about buying fireworks for use at home or finding a show.
Are fireworks legal in Arizona?
In general, the kinds that are illegal are those that are most likely to annoy your neighbor — the ones that shoot up in the air and make loud noises. Those are considered unsafe for at-home use.
If you’re caught setting them off in certain cities, you could face a hefty penalty.
Glendale’s fines are the highest in the Valley. The citation for a first offense is $1,500, and $2,000 for the second offense.
Glendale City Council members, when increasing the fines a couple of years ago, said they wanted to send a clear message: Illegal use of fireworks won’t be tolerated. They said the increase was intended as more of an education campaign than anything else.
That’s because, in Arizona, police must actually witness the use of the illegal fireworks to issue a citation. That makes it hard to catch offenders.
In 2019, for example, Glendale police responded to 735 calls for service related to the illegal use of fireworks, but only wrote up one offense report.
What types of fireworks are legal in Arizona?
Fireworks permissible to use year-round in Arizona include: sparklers, smoker devices, and novelty fireworks such as snakes, party poppers and snappers.
Other types of fireworks are allowed seasonally, for holidays such as New Year’s and the Fourth of July, from June 24 to July 6 and Dec. 24 to Jan 3. This includes: ground spinners, sparkling wheel devices and fountain-style fireworks.
Any type of firework that explodes or detonates in the air is illegal to use year-round. Illegal fireworks include the following: sky or bottle rockets, firecrackers and aerial fireworks.
When can you light fireworks?
The Phoenix Fire Code prevents the sale and use of consumer fireworks in the city of Phoenix. However, during specific dates, state law supersedes this requirement and allows the sale and use. Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-1606 regulates when permissible fireworks can be bought, sold and used in Arizona. The law does not apply to novelty items: snappers, snap caps, glow worms, snakes, party poppers and sparklers.
Under current Arizona law, firework usage is permitted 27 days of the year around the holidays of Cinco De Mayo, Independence Day, Christmas and New Year’s.
The sale of permissible consumer fireworks is allowed:
April 25 to May 6.
May 20 to July 6.
Dec. 10 to Jan. 3.
The use of permissible consumer fireworks is allowed:
May 4 to May 6.
June 24 to July 6.
Dec. 24 to Jan. 3.
However, this fall, a new law will go into effect that bans late-night fireworks that keep neighbors and pets up at night.
It will become enforceable 90 days from the end of the legislative session, which wrapped up June 25.
The new law will prohibit the use of fireworks from 11 pm to 8 am every day, except on the nights of New Year’s Eve and Independence Day, when they can be used between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am
To see the most current fireworks law, go to https://www.azleg.gov/ars/36/01606.htm.
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How old do you have to be to buy fireworks?
You must be at least 16 years old.
Where can you light fireworks?
In Phoenix, fireworks are not allowed on preservation land owned by the city.
What is the penalty for setting off illegal fireworks in Arizona?
Here are the penalties for illegal use of fireworks in the largest metro Phoenix cities. If you live in a different city, call your local city hall to check.
Mesa: First offense $75; second offense $150; third offense $500; each subsequent offense $750.
Glendale: $1,500 on first offense; $2,000 on second offence.
Scottsdale: Minimum fine of $275.
Surprise: No less than $150, no more than $1,000.
How to reduce the risk from fireworks
Fire departments and medical professionals often warn against the danger of using fireworks, especially by young people. But if you do use them, here is advice from the Phoenix Fire Department on how to be safer:
Observe all fireworks laws.
Young children should not be allowed to play with fireworks under any circumstances. Older children should only be permitted to handle fireworks under close adult supervision.
Sparklers should only be handled by kids older than 12.
People with lit sparklers should stay at least 10 feet apart.
Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and to douse fireworks that do not properly ignite.
Keep a hose with a shut-off nozzle nearby. The water should be on and the hose should be ready to instantly douse any wayward fires.
Do not attempt to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
Put all used sparklers in a water bucket.
Be sure people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting. Wear protective eyewear. An errant ember could cause permanent eye damage or even blindness.
Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
Where to watch Fourth of July fireworks in metro Phoenix
Phoenix has canceled its 2022 celebrations, citing supply chain issues.
According to Chandler’s website, “in lieu of fireworks, there will be a 5-minute pyrotechnic show as part of the concert.”
Tempe’s website says the city will forgo fireworks during festivities on Sunday, July 3.
“In lieu of fireworks, the city will host Red, White and Floom, a fire show scheduled to begin at 8:30 pm Twelve floating, flower-shaped flumes on Tempe Town Lake will shoot flames up to 30 feet into the air. The show is choreographed to patriotic and pop music,” the city’s event listing reads.
Fountain Hills also had issues obtaining fireworks, but the town found a workaround: Its Independence Day event will take place on July 1, a date a vendor was available.
Fireworks are still scheduled in other Valley cities, including Apache Junction (Apache Junction High School), Glendale (Westgate Entertainment District), Scottsdale (WestWorld of Scottsdale and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess) and Litchfield Park (The Wigwam).
Republic reporters KiMi Robinson, Jen Fifield and Endia Fontanez contributed to this article.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Which fireworks are legal in Arizona, and who can buy them?
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