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Fireworks regulation changing again

Posted 5/28/14

Fire and law enforcement officials find they have another new change to state law regulating fireworks in Arizona.

The latest change opens the door for the legal use of several different types of …

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Fireworks regulation changing again


Fire and law enforcement officials find they have another new change to state law regulating fireworks in Arizona.

The latest change opens the door for the legal use of several different types of fireworks previously banned in Fountain Hills.

In April Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1158 relating to fireworks.

This bill pre-empts the Town Code prohibiting the use of “consumer fireworks,” according to Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Dave Ott.

According to the law any municipality within a county where the population exceeds 500,000 may not prohibit the use of fireworks.

The bill passed primarily along partisan lines with all three Republican representatives in District 23 voting for the change. Representatives John Kavanagh and Michelle Ugenti and Senator Michele Reagan supported the change.

The new law allows all items defined as “consumer fireworks” and prohibits municipalities from banning them. Town Code has previously allowed “novelty items” but banned other items considered “consumer fireworks.”

Items now allowed by the law are defined as ground and handheld sparkling devices, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, toy smoke devices, wire sparklers or dipped sticks, multiple tube ground and handheld sparkling devices.

The use of any fireworks not defined as “consumer fireworks” is still prohibited.

This also includes anything designed or intended to rise into the air and explode or detonate in the air or to fly above the ground.

This prohibition includes firework items known as firecrackers, bottle rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, torpedoes, roman candles, mine devices, shell devices and aerial shell kits or reloadable tubes.

The use of fireworks on town-owned property, which includes most wash areas in Fountain Hills, is still prohibited without a permit.

According to Ott, he and Fire Chief Randy Roberts have concerns about people using fireworks in or adjacent to dry desert areas.

“We are currently experiencing extreme fire dangers in and around our area,” Ott said.

“A fire ban is in effect for the county parks. Utmost caution and common sense should be exercised when using any type of open flame or spark generating items in an area that may be susceptible to fire.”

All fireworks are banned year around on all federal land such as nearby Tonto National Forest.

Senate Bill 1158 allows the sale of consumer fireworks from May 20 through July 6 and from Dec. 10 through Jan. 3 of each year.

The bill only allows the use of consumer fireworks between June 24 and July 6 and Dec. 24 through Jan 3.