Fire managers urge caution as firework stands open for business in Utah

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 20:54:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY – You’ve seen them around town – big white tents popping up on corners and parking lots. It is now officially legal to buy fireworks in Utah, so it’s important to know where and when to set them off.

The sights and sounds of fireworks this time of year are a given. But state fire managers urge people to use extreme caution.

“The message we want to get out to everybody is to have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July, 24th of July,” said Jasen Asay, a Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman.

Jeremy Thomas runs the Black Cat Fireworks stand in Sandy. He said that with tons of new fireworks out on the market, people are stocking up.

“Last year was phenomenal," he said. "This year will be a little better.”

FOX 13 caught up with some customers on the hunt for the latest fireworks.

McKenzie Jensen and her fiancé Aaron Allred throw a big Fourth of July party at their home every year and go all out.

FOX 13: “How much do you guys usually spend on fireworks?”

Allred: “It depends. About $500."

Along with the fun, they understand their limitations.

Residents can only set off fireworks between July 1-July 7 and July 21-July 27 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. On holidays, like Independence Day and Pioneer Day, residents can discharge fireworks until midnight.

Each city has its own fire restrictions. In Salt Lake City, anything west of I-215, city parks, the East bench, and areas near the wildland urban interface are off-limits.

“There's a lot of vegetation in those areas," Asay said. "A single spark from a firework can start off a big wildfire."

A few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Use bricks to stabilize fireworks that shoot into the air because they can tip.
  • Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby so you can soak used fireworks.

“We're just asking the people to follow the rules,” Asay said.

Click here for a list of fire restrictions by city.