Firefighters caution firework safety as holiday draws near

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Fourth of July is approaching and that means fireworks are now on sale, but you can't light them just yet. A week before the big day, firefighters are reminding Utahns about some rules and safety tips.

The first thing to keep in mind: The wet weather we've had recently has contributed to greener, taller vegetation -- which increases the fire danger. So, you have to pay attention to where you light your fireworks.

"All that growth just adds more tinder to the fire. It's going to dry out very quickly, by the time Fourth of July comes around. We will have a real danger of wildland brush fires," said Mark Bednarik, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

When it comes to lighting fireworks, firefighters say:

  • avoid nearby vegetation
  • light fireworks on concrete or asphalt
  • keep a bucket of water or hose nearby
  • don't use anything that projects more than 15 feet in the air or 10 feet to the sides

You can buy now fireworks from now until July 24, but you can only light them three days prior to, the day of, and three days after the approved holidays.

"We're encouraging everybody to have a good time. We just want them to do it in a safe manner," Bednarik said.

You need to check with the city and county you live in to make sure you understand your local fireworks laws. Some cities, like Ogden for example, have added restrictions and will issue tickets to violators.


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Whit Johnson


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