DENVER (KDVR) — The days surrounding the Fourth of July are the busiest time of year for 911 dispatchers. 

In Colorado, any firework that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal statewide unless it’s a professional organized show some cities have an all-out ban on even fountains and sparklers. 

With many people still want to celebrate with a bang, meaning 911 dispatch centers are bracing for a busy night. 

July 4 is the 911 dispatch center’s busiest time of the year.

In Arapahoe County fireworks are OK until July 5 if they don’t leave the ground, but dispatch still urges everyone to be safe.  

“If you’re going to do sparkler phones, things like that, have a bucket of water nearby, have your hose going something like that some sort of preventive measure,” Nate Treusch, the emergency communications manager for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said. “Wet the ground around it.” 

The department is shorthanded despite the expectation of a more than normal volume of calls.

“Right now we’re 14 down so we couldn’t really ramp it up as much as I’d like to so we are going to be short-staffed this weekend to try to handle as many calls as we can,” Treusch said. “What helps us out a lot is things like the exact address if you’re willing to speak with a field responder would be helpful.” 

For those looking to celebrate safely with legal fireworks, Jason Bohling runs the Davy Jones firework tent in Arapahoe County. 

For Bohling, it’s not just about profit though he says he also pushes a safety message.  

“We give our knowledge to other people so we do not sell illegal fireworks. Most of the stuff that we sell here in Colorado is sparklers. So they’re in fountains so that all they do is shower sparks and then we teach people that they should lay them off in safe areas,” Bohling said.

He also provides safe lighting techniques.  

“A lighter gets really hot. So we suggest that you use a punk and it just has a red tip on it,” Bohling said. “And you’re not as close.”

Ringing in the red, white and blue can be done and enjoyed responsibly.  

“The family environment is really awesome. Especially here in Colorado. They a lot of people get their families involved in it,” Bohling said.

Are fireworks legal in your county? 

Colorado law declares that any firework that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal everywhere in the state, but some municipalities allow fireworks like sparklers and fountains.  

  • Arapahoe County
    • On May 24, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners allowed the sale, use and possession of fireworks in all or part of the unincorporated areas of the county between May 31 and July 5, 2022.
  • Adams County
  • Arvada
    • In the City of Arvada, the possession and use of any firework (including sparklers) is illegal.
  • Aurora
    • The sale, possession and use of certain fireworks is legal in Aurora. Fireworks can be only be used in Aurora only from June 15 to July 4. Fireworks that DO NOT leave the ground or explode are allowed. Sparklers are ok.
  • Boulder
  • Boulder County
    • Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County mean the use of all fireworks is prohibited including sparklers.  
  • Broomfield County
    • Personal fireworks are prohibited in Broomfield. Fireworks means any article, device or substance prepared for the primary purpose of producing a visual or auditory sensation by combustion, explosion.
  • Castle Rock
    • The town of Castle Rock is currently under a Stage 1 Fire Restriction, meaning the use of private fireworks is prohibited.
  • Denver
    • Fireworks are not allowed including sparklers.
  • Douglas County
  • Fort Collins
    • All fireworks, including sparklers and snakes, are illegal to sell, possess, or use in the city of Fort Collins.
  • Golden
    • Due to the high fire danger, there will be no fireworks in Golden at all this year.
  • Jefferson County
    • Sparklers and fountains are ok when a fire ban is not in effect.
  • Lakewood
    • Fireworks are not allowed including sparklers.
  • Longmont
    • Legal fireworks may be used with caution on private property, not on public property. All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal on city streets, parks, golf courses and other public areas.  
  • Littleton
    • Fireworks are not allowed including sparklers.
  • Northglenn
  • Parker
  • Telluride
  • Weld County
    • Fireworks that explode or leave the ground are illegal.
  • If your county is not listed please check regulations before lighting any fireworks.