Las Vegas firefighters and nonprofit organizations are gearing up for one of the busiest weeks of the year, the week preceding the Fourth of July holiday. Safe-N-Sane fireworks will be approved for sale by nonprofit organizations and can be used by individuals beginning Sunday, June 28, until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 4 in the city of Las Vegas. Because of the dry conditions this time of year, fire officials are urging the public to use EXTREME caution when using fireworks and follow some simple safety rules.
“You Light It – We Write It” program
Just like last year, law enforcement will be using a procedure that was approved by the Las Vegas City Council, a part of the “You Light It – We Write It” program. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers will have the authority to issue a civil citation and confiscate any illegal fireworks.
- The first citation has a fine of $250; any additional citations are $500 each.
- With the new citation, which is much like a parking ticket, any person issued the citation will be required to pay the fine.
- Those who do not pay their citations will be sent to a collection agency, which may have an impact on their credit rating.
- The cost of properly disposing the confiscated fireworks could also be the responsibility of the person being cited.
Just like last year, people wanting to report illegal fireworks should use the website ispyfireworks.com instead of calling 3-1-1 or 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 should only be used in cases of an emergency, such as a person injured by fireworks or a fire started by fireworks; 3-1-1 or 9-1-1 should not be used to report illegal fireworks.
Safe-N-Sane fireworks are those that have been tested and approved by valley fire departments for use during this one week of the year. At all other times of the year, Safe-N-Sane fireworks are illegal as well as any other type of firework that flies through the air, explodes or rotates on the ground. All fireworks booths must have a permit and be inspected to operate inside the city.
- An illegal firework is one that either flies through the air, explodes, or whirls on the ground. In other words, you have no control over them and they can wind up causing a fire.
- These fireworks are extremely dangerous and are illegal throughout Clark County.
- Fireworks purchased on the Native American reservations are expected to be used on the reservation at a special designated area, and not off the property. Using them anywhere else in Clark County is illegal.
Although they are labeled “Safe-N-Sane” fireworks, some people have the impression that they are toys and children can “play with them.” Safe-N-Sane fireworks can cause injury to people and are capable of starting large fires. A number of significant fires in the valley started in past years because of the use of Safe-N-Sane fireworks. People who purchase Safe-N-Sane fireworks must be at least 16 years of age. Booth operators have been instructed by fire officials to check identification if necessary to ensure that the person purchasing the fireworks are of proper age. The user still must exercise extreme caution when using Safe-N-Sane fireworks.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Fireworks should be used on a flat, firm surface, such as the ground or a driveway.
- Fireworks are illegal on the street and sidewalk.
- Stay away from bushes, grasses and trees, or anything else that might catch fire. Stay away from vehicles.
- Have a bucket of water and/or garden hose available for use in case of fire.
- There should be a responsible adult present when fireworks are being used.
- After the firework has been used, it should be picked up with a shovel and dropped into a bucket of water and let soak for several hours before being discarded in the trash.
- “Duds” (fireworks that did not go off after being lit) should be picked up with a shovel and dropped into a bucket of water. You should NOT try to relight them.
- If a fire does start because of fireworks, don’t panic. Using the garden hose or bucket of water, either put the fire out or prevent it from getting larger. Someone should call 9-1-1.
- Fireworks should NEVER be used in a building.
- ANY type of firework is illegal at 12:01 a.m. July 5, which includes Safe-N-Sane fireworks.
- Fireworks are illegal at all times on streets, in any parks, on city property or on school district property.
- Fireworks are NOT permitted on federal property, which includes all parks and recreational areas including Lake Mead, Mount Charleston, Spring Mountains and Red Rock. There is an extreme danger of fire in the parklands and people caught using fireworks can face an extremely stiff penalty.
Homeowner Recommended Safety Precautions
- Clean your yard of any weeds or unnecessary plant growth. Cut grass and keep the lawn watered. Green plants are less likely to burn.
- Take down any dead palm fronds off trees. Dead fronds will burn very rapidly and cause hot, burning embers that can spread over a wide area, causing other fires.
- Clean up any accumulated dead leaves, pine needles and other dead plant materials and dispose of properly.
- Keep a garden hose connected and ready to use in case a fire starts in your yard, even if you are not using fireworks. If you do not have a garden hose to use, a bucket of water on stand-by is a good backup.
- Keep pets inside in the evening, especially on the Fourth of July. Numerous pets run away or are reported missing July 4 because of the noise. More pets are reported missing on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year.
- Keep vehicles that are parked at home locked up and all windows shut. Park in a garage or under a canopy, if available.
- Check your property several times during the evening if fireworks are used in your area. Many times a fire can be detected while it is small and prevent it from getting larger.
- People should remember that whether they are using Safe-N-Sane or illegal fireworks, if they cause damage to another person’s property, they could be held financially responsible and liable for that damage. Some apartment complexes have prohibited the use of fireworks on their properties and warn tenants they could be asked to leave if they violate the rule.