Expect more powerful fireworks this summer


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MURRAY — Fireworks season is sure to be more explosive in the Beehive State this year.

Thanks to a new law, Utahns will now be able to buy more powerful fireworks and light them off on more days.

"We are now going to be able to shoot off the hottest stuff that they make for consumer fireworks," South Salt Lake Fire Marshal Bruce Shoemaker said.

What are... Cake Fireworks?
Cake fireworks, also known as repeaters or multiple tube devices are a fire work with a series of tubes that shoot small aerial shells, connected together by a high-speed fuse.

Showier and more powerful fireworks on the shelves this year can launch up to 150 feet in the air. And consumers will be able to buy and light them for 30 days, starting June 26.

"What we're going to be shooting this year has about four to five times the power and about 10 times the height of what we were able to shoot last year," Shoemaker explained.

Lawmakers this year approved a bill allowing the sale of these "cake" fireworks, or aerial repeaters.

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, who sponsored the bill, said permitting these fireworks will keep Utahns and their money in the state. While these fireworks shoot higher, he said they have a stable base and whatever comes down is cool to the touch.

But the new law isn't without controversy. Some say Utah’s conservative fireworks law is now one of the loosest in the country.

Prohibited fireworks
- Cherry bombs
- Roman Candles
- Sky Rockets
- Bottle Rockets
- Single shot mortars
- M-80's
- Firecrackers

"Because these are new to Utah, the consumer really needs to be made aware of what these items are capable of," said Joee Witter with Phantom Fireworks. "If these are lit off in the wrong place, like under a carport or under the tree out in front of your street, it could be disastrous."

Lawmakers left rule-making authority to the Utah State Fire Prevention Board. Lobbyists want the board to adopt a national standard that would require these fireworks to be tightly controlled, separated and supervised.

But the board's chairman, Ted Black, who's also the fire marshal for the Weber Fire District, said that's overkill. He's considering a proposal that would require retailers to display the fireworks at the front of the store and under supervision.

"If the store doesn't want to do that, they'll have to put them behind the counter where you'll have to go to the counter to get them," he said.

The cake fireworks are legal, but here's a list of what fireworks are not allowed in Utah: cherry bombs, Roman candles, sky rockets, bottle rockets, single shot mortars, M-80s, and firecrackers.

The fire prevention board will vote on fireworks regulations during its next meeting on May 10.

Email: syi@ksl.com

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Sandra Yi

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