SALT LAKE CITY — Fireworks will be legal in certain unrestricted parts of Utah this Fourth of July weekend, but many fire departments are asking the public to skip sending off fireworks at home and leave them to the professionals.
In order to prepare for the weekend, Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD) spent the day handing out informational flyers warning residents of the risks, and letting them now of the potential consequences for lighting off in restricted areas.
"Our environmental conditions are ripe for fire," said Karl Leib, Salt Lake City Fire Chief. "Thus, the citywide ban on fireworks and all open flames as well."
SLCFD went door-to-door in some neighborhoods to explain why they are asking people not to set off fireworks this year, as the drought conditions and high heat could turn a single spark into a deadly fire.
Violators of the fireworks restrictions face fines of up to $1,000 and are liable for any damage done if they start a fire.
Local fireworks vendors also warn people that sparklers, fountains, and other fireworks that are low to the ground pose the greatest threat of starting a fire. If used correctly, aerials that shoot high into the sky are the safest option, as the sparks will not hit the ground.
Plenty of water should be available to douse sparks quickly and pour over used fireworks so they do not ignite. Never put a firework in the trash until it is completely cooled off.
But SLCFD is reminding residents of all the professional shows going on throughout the holiday weekend, as that will be a much safer option than lighting fireworksoff in the front yard.
SLCFD will have extra crew members on staff throughout the weekend to help respond to fires, as well as monitor and enforce the fireworks restrictions.
Residents who want to report illegal firework activity are encouraged to call the non-emergency line at 801-799-3000.