Even fireworks that are legal in Arizona pose risks, experts warn
PHOENIX – Many Arizonans choose to make legal fireworks part of their New Year’s Eve celebrations, but they can be dangerous if used recklessly, officials warn.
“We want everyone to have fun, but we also want everyone to be safe,” Alexander Yates of the Glendale Fire Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
The only fireworks that are approved for use by Arizona consumers are sold at stores or stands around the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. The current legal window of use opened Christmas Eve and runs until Jan. 3.
Permitted fireworks include sparklers and ground-based devices.
“Some of the ones that are not legal or not permitted to use … are bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers,” Yates said.
“Most fireworks that shoot a projectile aren’t legal anymore in the state of Arizona.”
Even though some fireworks are legal, Phoenix Fire Deputy Marshal Brian Scholl told KTAR News that it’s best to leave them to the professionals.
“But if you do decide to use fireworks, first and foremost, don’t let any kids use fireworks,” he said.
One of the things that increases the risk from fireworks this time of year is that too much champagne or other adult beverages can lead to poor decisions.
“We do ask if you do plan consuming alcohol … that you just refrain from any type of firework for the night,” Yates said.
“Let someone else do it and you can just kind of sit back and watch and be a spectator.”
Yates also warned against setting off fireworks indoors and said care should be taken when selecting a location.
“Don’t point them at your house,” he said. “Have a safe barrier, whatever you feel that may be. I probably wouldn’t even do them in the backyard.”
Scholl said to avoid lighting fireworks when it’s windy because it could start fires.
“Always do it out in the middle of concrete or a well-watered lawn away from anything that could catch, any kind of brush or any kind of dead trees,” he said.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.