DENVER (KDVR) – Even in rainy weather, a single firework can still spark tragedy.
According to Coloradan law, any firework that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal unless it’s part of a professionally organized show. Residents should check their County’s website for exceptions that may allow fireworks that don’t leave the ground.
Nate Treusch of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office told FOX31 that safety precautions should be a priority in counties where small, non-projectile fireworks are allowed.
“Have a bucket of water nearby, have your hose going, something like some sort of preventive measure, [wetten] down the ground around [the launch area] and stay away from structures and dry anything, kindling, dry leaves, dry grass, anything like that,” Treusch explained.
While police enforce the law, fire departments keep a close watch and quickly respond to situations that present a risk to public safety.
Some residents have reported fireworks being set off illegally in back alleys, empty parking lots and rural areas. Denver Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Greg Pixley told FOX31, that fireworks are illegal in both the City and County of Denver. If you were to break this law, you could face both a year in jail and a hefty fine.
Colorado’s summer heat, combined with high winds, provides an environment that can worsen fire hazards.
“When we have arid conditions and we have dry environments, these fireworks can create a very difficult situation,” Pixley said.
“The potential for injury is not just to you and your family but to the very firefighters that are working very hard,” he added while highlighting that partaking in this simple act can end in tragedy.
Pixley reminds those in Denver that the safest, and most dramatic displays are those provided by the professionals at larger venues.
Denver residents should call 311 to reach the City Fireworks Task Force to report illegal use of fireworks and 911 to report an actual fire. They can also call the Denver Fire Works hotline at 720-913-2059.