Legal fireworks are safer than ever, in part because of stringent federal safety standards enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1976, however, according to the Gila Bend Town Code, Chapter 92, Section 92.16: The use, discharge, or ignition of fireworks within the town is prohibited(A). Exceptions are as follows (B): Nothing in this section or subchapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of novelty items or the occurrence of a supervised public display of fireworks authorized by town permit.
According to State Statute 36-1601, there is only one exception to this. Consumer fireworks may be used from May 20 through July 6 and December 10 through January 3 of each year.
- Consumer fireworks are defined HERE. Consumer fireworks do not include anything that is designed or intended to rise into the air and explode or to detonate in the air or to fly above the ground, including firework items defined by the APA 87-1 and known as firecrackers, bottle rockets, skyrockets, missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, torpedoes, roman candles, mine devices, shell devices, and aerial shell kits or reloadable tubes.
What does this mean?
- Outside of the dates listed above, Sparklers and Poppers are the only legal fireworks that can be used in the town. It should be noted that sparklers burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which could cause serious burns and injuries if used improperly.
- During the dates listed above, only fireworks defined as "Consumer" fireworks in the above statute can be used. Any firework designated as "Display" is still prohibited.
- Although you see tents selling firework in and around the valley, the sale of fireworks is legal in Arizona, however, you should check with your local Police or Sheriff’s office on city codes or town ordinances.
- Also, if caught using fireworks in violation of town code, you could be found guilty of a class one misdemeanor and face a fine.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires that legal fireworks show the name of the item, the name of the manufacturer or distributor, and easy-to-read cautionary labeling and instructions for proper use.
The Gila Bend Fire Department wants you to have a fun and safe Fourth of July. If you choose to celebrate with consumer fireworks, remember the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- A responsible adult should supervise all fireworks activities.
- Never give fireworks to young children.
- Follow label directions carefully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them in metal or glass containers.
- Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Observe local laws and use common sense.
- Sparklers, fountains and other items that many states allow for use by consumers are not appropriate when a large crowd is present.
- If attending a community display, leave your own fireworks at home -- there will be plenty of excitement provided by the display.
For more information on Fireworks safety, visit the National Safety Council website.