Public urged to keep 4th of July fireworks celebrations ‘safe and healthy’
As the July 4 holiday approaches, Clark County and partner agencies are asking the public to follow the rules regarding fireworks.
“Safe and healthy” fireworks are the only type of consumer fireworks allowed in Clark County and local towns and only from From June 28 to July 4 annually, when non-profit groups are permitted to sell them for fundraising purposes at locally licensed and inspected stalls. The “You Light It, We Write It” inter-agency campaign to educate the public about what’s allowed and what’s not allowed – and the penalties for using illegal fireworks – will be active during the holiday from 4th July. Information about the initiative is available at www.YouLightItWeWriteIt.Vegas. Starting this year, violators caught using illegal fireworks in unincorporated county areas will face an increased minimum fine of $500, up from $250 previously. The Nevada State Legislature authorized the county to increase fines for illegal fireworks in the 2021 session. The legislation provides for fines of up to $10,000 for large amounts of fireworks. illegal artifacts found in the community.
“The use of illegal fireworks in neighborhoods during the 4th of July is a growing problem that we need the community’s help to address,” said Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who actively worked to resolve the issue. “As residents come and go from the Las Vegas Valley in the coming weeks, we ask that you do not purchase illegal fireworks sold by vendors outside of our area for use here. If you plan to use fireworks at your family celebrations, please only purchase safe and healthy fireworks from local kiosks licensed to operate during the holidays.
All fireworks, including those labeled “safe and healthy,” are a concern in the spring and summer, when the wildfire threat is greatest in southern Nevada. Concerns from neighbors about noise, litter, and the use of illegal fireworks purchased outside the Las Vegas Valley are common. No fireworks of any kind are permitted in Clark County Wetlands Park and other local parks, or on public lands in the area including Mount Charleston, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon. Officials warn that even approved “safe and healthy” fireworks can cause fires and injuries and should only be used under adult supervision.
In addition to the county, partners in the “You Light It, We Write It” effort include area cities, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol. As part of this effort, the public is encouraged to report complaints of illegal fireworks online at www.ISpyFireworks.com instead of calling 911. Complaints logged on the ISpy fireworks site are for data collection purposes only – it does not result in a police dispatch. The misuse of 911 to report fireworks complaints, instead of life-threatening emergencies, bogs down local police and the fire dispatch center and can reduce emergency response times. The public can call 311 to report illegal fireworks complaints, but responses are prioritized based on available resources. In 2021, the ISpy site recorded 21,134 complaints from June 28 to July 4, including 13,447 on July 4.
“The 4th of July is one of our busiest nights of the year for accidents and fires,” said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. “We need the support of the public to keep the celebrations safe and sane, and we also need to remind the public not to call 911 to report complaints about illegal fireworks, because 911 should only be used only to report life-threatening emergencies.”
Officials say the best way to ensure fireworks aren’t illegal is to buy them from local vendors licensed to sell ‘safe and healthy’ fireworks during the seven-day permitted sale period. days which is June 28th. No fireworks are allowed after midnight on July 4th. Fireworks sold at TNT or Phantom Fireworks kiosks this season have been tested and approved in local jurisdictions to ensure they don’t leak, burn too hot or project too high into the sky. Vending kiosks are inspected during the holidays to ensure they are in compliance. “Safe and healthy” fireworks typically include sparklers and fireworks that remain in a small circular area on the ground and do not explode in mid-air. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, Roman candles, and sky rockets – anything made of highly combustible materials. Fireworks purchased from vendors located outside of Clark County are likely to be illegal, including those purchased from vendors in Pahrump, Amargosa Valley, and the Moapa Strip of Paiutes.
Residents are encouraged to support the annual “You Light It, We Write It” effort by sharing campaign information with friends and neighbors. Flyers and TV PSAs in English and Spanish are available on the campaign website, along with a list of professional fireworks which is regularly updated as the holidays approach. Residents are also encouraged to support the campaign by sharing content from participating agencies on social media and using the hashtag #youlightitwewriteit. The website offers safety tips for people considering using safe and healthy fireworks. Recommendations include:
- Be courteous: Let your neighbors know ahead of time if you plan to celebrate with fireworks so the noise doesn’t startle them. Clean up the trash left behind by the fireworks.
- Be prepared in case of fire. Have a pre-connected garden hose handy.
- Use fireworks on flat, hard surfaces such as parking lots and cul-de-sacs away from buildings, vehicles, dry brush and bystanders.
- Place discharged fireworks in a bucket of water overnight to ensure they do not relight.
- Closely supervise children and pets; maintaining a distance from fireworks that are lit minimizes the risk of injury. Don’t let children light fireworks.
- Beware of sparks. These can be popular items to give to young children, but they can cause clothing to catch fire and cause serious burns.
- Coordinate the lighting of the elements so that everyone in the group anticipates when they will be triggered and are not surprised.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing superior service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the 11e-the largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors per year (2019). Included are the 7 of the natione– Busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the largest public hospital in the state, University Medical Center. The county also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million people in the unincorporated area. These include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.