With the 4th of July fast approaching, it’s a good time for Denver residents to be reminded of the city’s rules regarding civilian fireworks. They’re not too difficult to remember: If it’s a firework, you’re not allowed to set it off in Denver.
Denver’s fire officials are making efforts to remind people of why that rule is in place — and why illegal fireworks simply aren’t worth the risk.
“Each year thousands of people are injured over the 4th of July holiday, with the majority of those injuries being children and teenagers,” Denver Fire Department spokesperson Melissa Taylor said in a statement. Even standard sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees.
And if that isn’t enough of a deterrent, it’s also good to know that violations are punishable by a fine of up to $999 and/or a year of prison time.
Firefighters and police will be teaming up to increase patrols throughout the city to enforce the fireworks ban and ensure no problems are caused by illegal fireworks. The increased presence is expected to last through the end of the Independence Day weekend.
Residents may head to other counties in the state to legally light up some fireworks of their own, but state law still prohibits any fireworks that explode or leave the ground (that covers firecrackers, bottle rockets, cherry bombs and Roman candles). All fireworks are illegal on Denver Mountain Parks and Forest Service lands.
Coloradans who do head to areas where it’s legal to set off fireworks should be mindful of their surroundings and take fire safety measures (that goes for all holiday weekend activities, including grilling — according to data from 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 grilling-related fires).
But Denver firefighters say the safest way by far to enjoy fireworks is to head to one of the area’s numerous professional fireworks shows, many of which will be free.