Scottsdale Fire warns of potential firework dangers as the season gets underway

The holiday is almost here -- and Kylee Cruz went out with some Scottsdale firefighters to get a handle of best practices when handling fireworks.
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 7:54 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Scottsdale Fire is warning people to be cautious and safe as they light off legal fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

“The sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize,” Captain Dave Folio said. “Nationally, 8,700 people go to the hospital around Fourth of July so it’s really important to wear your goggles and to know the rules.”

Across Arizona, firework stands are already popping up, so it’s important to know the rules since it all depends on what city you are in. “You can’t have anything that leaves the ground and takes off in the air in the state that’s illegal,” Captain Folio said. In Scottsdale, Captain Folio says you can’t use any novelty items, such as sparklers and consumer fireworks, within one mile of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. You can also only use them on private property and not on parks or any public streets owned by the city.

Glendale firefighters were called to at least three fireworks-related fires, one of which caused extensive damage back in July 2022.

Capt. Folio suggested that if you plan to light legal fireworks at your house to lay out a hose and fire extinguisher, just in case. Per state law, Valley cities like Scottsdale must allow permissible consumer fireworks from June 24 until July 6 and again from Dec. 24 until Jan. 3. Fines for setting off illegal fireworks change by the city.

The Phoenix Fire Department offers these tips for people who want to light off legal fireworks around the Fourth of July:

  • Observe all laws concerning firework use
  • 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
  • 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
  • Do not attempt to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Be sure people are out of range before lighting fireworks
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Sparklers should only be handled by kids older than 12
  • Make sure that people with lit sparklers stay at least 10 feet apart
  • Put all used sparklers in the water bucket

In 2022, Arizona’s Family reported on a multitude of problems caused by fireworks, including a Gilbert family’s home that needed repair after an aerial firework crashed through a bedroom. In the West Valley, Glendale firefighters battled 3 fireworks-related fires within 12 hours.

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