Photo gallery: Southern Cochise County celebrates Independence Day (copy)

A display of fireworks lights up the summer sky at Sierra Vista's Domingo Paiz Sports Complex last year.

Firework Types

All fireworks sold in stores in Arizona have been inspected and comply with state and local laws.

Legal fireworks include:

Sparklers

Smoke devices

Novelties, such as party poppers

Ground-based sparkling devices

Using aerial fireworks without a permit is prohibited under state law.

Illegal fireworks include:

Sky and bottle rockets

Firecrackers

Roman candles

Any device that launches airborne fireworks

Firework Sales

Currently, permissible consumer fireworks can only be sold in Arizona from May 20-July 6 and December 10-January 3.

Fireworks cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 16.

Firework Use

Fireworks used within Sierra Vista city limits must be used on private property and with the permission of the property owner.

Currently, permissible consumer fireworks can only be used in Arizona from June 24-July 6 and 24 December-January 3.

Fireworks may NOT be used on state-owned or public property — such as parks, schools, streets and alleyways — without a permit from the fire marshal.

Violation of state and local laws regarding firework type, location or handling classifies as a Class 3 misdemeanor, and civil litigation can follow any property damage caused.

Firework Safety Practices

Always practice common sense and general safety guidelines when operating fireworks.

To avoid being a nuisance to neighbors (which would make the use of even legal fireworks illegal), be sure to check with anybody nearby before using fireworks that would cause a lot of smoke, sparkling or noise.

Always read and follow manufacturer instructions to avoid safety hazards and illegal handling.

Only use fireworks in safe, open areas without combustible materials or vegetation.

Have a hose bucket of water on hand to immerse fireworks once they are done going off; packaging can stay flaming even after going off, so dousing the firework can prevent accidents.

Do not allow children to operate fireworks, and supervise children with novelty fireworks such as sparklers.

According to City of Sierra Vista Fire Marshal Paul Cimino, sparklers are a leading cause of 4th of July injuries. Reaching up to 1,200°F, sparklers can cause contact burns if handled incorrectly.

Small children and animals who may be frightened by the noises or lights of fireworks should be kept comfortably inside, or at a safe distance from the display.

If mishandling or a malfunction of the firework causes a minor burn, apply cool running water to the wound and keep it clean. For more severe injuries, contact emergency services at 911.

As Fire Marshal Cimino reminds, you don’t have to use your own fireworks for a fun 4th of July celebration: “An excellent fireworks show by the Rotary Club is put on every 4th of July, and we highly recommend that if you want to see a spectacular show.” However, he further cautions not to bring any personal fireworks to the show, including sparkers, as it is on public property.

With the dry and windy conditions of Southern Arizona, the most important tip for firework use is to practice good judgement; extreme care should always be used in deciding whether to use fireworks in any condition. People will still be held responsible for any injuries or property damages that result from fireworks, regardless of whether the conditions complied with state and local law.

Do you have a question you want the Herald/Review to look into? Email your query to publisher@myheraldreview with the subject line “Your Question Answered.”

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