Know the law before purchasing fireworks - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Know the law before purchasing fireworks

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

With the Fourth of July just days away, many people throughout the Valley are planning on purchasing fireworks. However, most city ordinances restrict the use of any type of firework that is not considered a novelty item, like sparklers.

Despite local laws in most municipalities restricting the use of fireworks, the sale of fireworks is still allowed. CBS 5 wanted to find out if vendors selling fireworks knew the laws in the jurisdiction they were selling the products.

At San Tan Fireworks in Avondale, an employee suggested some popular fireworks.

When asked if the fireworks can be used without getting in trouble, the salesperson responded, "Well, the law states that it's not allowed; it's not legal. But they're not going to do anything. ... I light artillery shells out of my backyard."

Avondale city ordinance 1432-1210 states, "The use, discharge or ignition of Fireworks within the corporate city limits of the city is prohibited." The ordinance defines fireworks as "any combustible or explosive composition, substance or combination of substances..."

At the nearby Red Hot Fireworks tent in Phoenix, the employee there referred the queries to city ordinances.

"Certain suburb areas they have their own thing, but I don't know exactly. You have to go on (their website) and look at the city ordinances," he continued.

According to city ordinances, most Valley cities, including Phoenix, Tempe, Avondale, Goodyear and Peoria, have laws restricting any fireworks except novelty items like sparklers.

"Anything can spark a very large fire, and it can quickly get out of control," said Amanda Jacinto with the city of Peoria.

Jacinto said the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July is to attend a professional fireworks show.

Fines vary, but in Phoenix, you could spend six months in jail and face fines up to $2,500 if caught illegally using fireworks.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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