>> Fireworks: Know the Laws, Know the Risks (06/2011)
Behind the Badge: A Message from Sheriff Ted Mink.
One of the best ways to get a deputy sheriff to attend your 4th of July party is to set off illegal fireworks there. Unfortunately, in addition to having an unexpected (and awkwardly overdressed) guest, you may find yourself facing misdemeanor charges and fines. Please consider the following as you plan your holiday festivities.
It is Unlawful:
• for anyone to possess or discharge any fireworks, other than permissible fireworks, anywhere in the state
• for anyone to sell fireworks unless that person is licensed as a retailer, wholesaler, or exporter
• for anyone to knowingly provide or sell any fireworks to anyone under 16
• for anyone under 16 to purchase any fireworks, including permissible fireworks
• for anyone under 16 to possess and discharge permissible fireworks, unless that person is under adult supervision
What are Permissible Fireworks?
Cylindrical or cone fountains, wheels and ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire, dipped sticks and sparklers, toy propellant or toy smoke devices, trick noise makers and snake or glow worms are all permissible.
What are Illegal Fireworks?
Any devices or components that, when used or ignited, project or disburse any metal, glass, or brittle plastic fragments. Cherry bombs, roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, shells and rockets, M-80s and M-100s, and helicopters are all examples of illegal fireworks. A good rule of thumb: anything that explodes or leaves the ground is most likely illegal in Colorado.
What's the Penalty?
Any person who violates the laws pertaining to the sale, possession, and use of fireworks commits a class 3 misdemeanor and faces up to $750 in fines, six months in prison, or both.
Check for Fire Bans
Before you light a fuse, check to make sure your area isn’t under a fire ban. A fire ban can be enacted by your county sheriff and/or the US Forest Service when there is high risk of wildfire. Even permissible fireworks are prohibited when Jefferson County is under a fire ban. Violating the ban can result in a fine.
If you are in Jeffco’s vulnerable foothills or mountain communities, please consider the lives and property of your neighbors. In 2005, teens playing with fireworks on North Table Mountain ignited a 200-acre wildfire that threatened homes and horse barns, and required the services of over 100 firefighters. One errant bottle rocket or firecracker is all it takes.
Tips for Safe Fireworks Use
• Always read and follow label instructions
• Have an adult present when children are involved
• Use outdoors only
• Always have water and a fire extinguisher handy
• Never experiment with or make your own fireworks
• Never give fireworks to small children
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people
• Always wear eye protection
Disposing of Fireworks
To dispose of unused fireworks, please call our non-emergency line at 303-277-0211. In most cases a deputy can pick up the fireworks for disposal. Do not soak fireworks in water as it can make them unstable.
Protect Your Pets
According to our animal control officers, more dogs get lost around July 4 than any other time of the year. Keep your pets properly confined to avoid escape due to fear of fireworks. Have your dog's license and identification up to date so that in the event your pet does escape, Animal Control can facilitate a quick return.
Leave the fireworks to the professionals - attend a public fireworks display. Check the local papers for information about public celebrations in your area.
Behind the Badge Archive
Jun 6, 2011 10:16 AM