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How to safely light up the sky with fireworks

By Jen Riess, KSL.com | Posted - Jun. 28, 2020 at 7:29 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — With the 4th of July and Pioneer Day quickly approaching, many Utahns are excited to get out after months of social distancing and enjoy some fireworks. However, after fireworks caused a fire in Lehi early Sunday morning the Utah Department of Public Safety has released a guide explaining firework safety.

Gov. Gary Herbert said on Sunday the decision on when and where to light fireworks is mostly made by local mayors and city councils.

When can you set off fireworks?

The state of Utah allows fireworks to be set off July 2-5 for the 4th of July, and again July 22-25 for Pioneer Day. Typically, fireworks can be set off from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on those days, except for the holiday itself when they can be used until midnight.

New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year's Eve are two other holidays that allow fireworks from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following day.

What fireworks are illegal

The Utah Department of Public Safety listed these illegal fireworks:

  • Firecracker, cannon cracker, ground salute, M-80 and all M class fireworks, cherry bombs, or other similar explosive.
  • A skyrocket, missile type rocket, single shot or reloadable aerial shells or mortars, or a rocket similar to these, including an aerial salute, a flash shell, a comet, a mine, or a cake containing more than 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition. Packaging should indicate how many grams an aerial firework contains.
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Rocket mounted on a wire or stick
  • Any similar devices

Most common firework stores do not carry illegal explosives, DPS said. Only certain types of fireworks can be sold in Utah.

"Most fireworks that are legal emit showers of sparks, glitter, crackles, smoke or sound and perform relatively close to the ground," read the DPS statement.

Where are firework restricted areas?

In Salt Lake City fireworks are restricted in the following areas:

  • All areas east of 900 E., including the University of Utah campus
  • All areas north of South Temple
  • City Creek Canyon
  • East of 300 W., North of Wall Street through Beck Street to the City limit to the north
  • All city parks and wildland urban interface areas
  • All areas west of Redwood Road

A full list of restricted areas can be viewed here.

Joe Dougherty, public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management, said many city websites are posting where fireworks are allowed.

Firework safety tips

While it may seem obvious, at least one person needs to hear this: only set off fireworks outdoors.

Anyone setting off fireworks should have water near, whether that is a hose or buckets of water.

Do not try to combine different fireworks, only use them as directed. Never re-light a "dud" firework. The Utah Fire Marshal advises to wait 20 minutes then soak the failed firework in a bucket of water.

Jen Riess

KSL Weather Forecast