Not all fireworks are legal for normal resident use

Jul 3, 2023, 10:30 AM

Illegal Arizona fireworks stock image of a Fourth of July fireworks display. The Fabulous Phoenix 4...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Although aerial fireworks are a common sight across the Valley during holidays, light shows that include airborne explosions may be using illegal Arizona fireworks.

Many fireworks with airborne explosions or extremely loud bangs are likely illegal under Arizona law.

Aerial spinners, missile-type rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers are a few examples of consumer fireworks that are actually illegal for use in Arizona.

Reloadable shell devices, aerials and single tube devices that shoot up into the air could also land Fourth of July partiers in legal trouble.

How to play it safe and avoid illegal Arizona fireworks

Legal consumer firework types that are legal in Arizona are ground and hand-held sparkling devices, cone fountains, illuminating torches, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, toy smoke devices, wire sparklers and dipped sticks.


When the sale and use of legal fireworks is OK

— April 25 through May 6

— May 20 through July 6

— December 10 through January 3

— Two days before the first day of Diwali through the third day of Diwali each year. This year Diwali is from Nov. 10 to 14.

When legal consumer fireworks are allowed

— May 4 through May 6

— June 24 through July 6

— December 24 through January 3

— The second and third days of Diwali of each year. This year, the second and third days of Diwali are Nov. 11 and 12.

— From 8 a.m. to 10:59 p.m., except on the nights of New Year’s Eve and Independence Day, when they can be used between 8 a.m. and 1 a.m. the following morning.

Fines vary across municipalities. Mesa has the lowest fines, starting at $50 and Glendale the highest, starting at $1,500.

Illegal Arizona fireworks can be dangerous

City officials throughout the state encourage residents to skip their own use of fireworks during holiday seasons in lieu of professional fireworks displays.

Many municipalities are offering spots where residents can watch fireworks shows in the Valley this year.

Thousands of people hurt themselves with consumer fireworks every Fourth of July, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Fireworks started an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires and 9,866 outside and other fires. These fires caused 29 civilian injuries and $59 million in direct property damage.

In 2021, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,500 people for fireworks related injuries; over half of those injuries were to the extremities and 35% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for almost one-quarter (23%) of the estimated 2021 injuries.

Even fireworks sold as “safe and sane,” like sparklers and other novelties, reach temperatures of over 1,200 degrees. Water boils at 212 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees. About half of all fireworks injuries are from burns.

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Not all fireworks are legal for normal resident use