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New Year's a popular time for personal fireworks use in Arizona

PHOENIX -- New Year's celebrations are a popular time for Arizonans to use fireworks.

While they are technically illegal in the state, some cities do allow residents to use certain types at certain times of year -- in specific locations.

In Mesa, a few types of fireworks can be used only between Dec. 30 and Jan. 1.

"We need to be cautious," said Larissa Dvorak, a spokesperson of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department. "During the holidays, particularly Fourth of July and New Year's, about 80 percent of all emergency room fireworks injuries are related to permissible fireworks.

"Fireworks that are permissible are still dangerous."

For example, sparklers run at about 1200 to 1800 degrees, she said.

"We find a lot of burns and such this type of year just using sparklers," she added.

Sparklers are just one kind of fireworks the city of Mesa allows to be used on private property, as long as the property owner gives consent and only during June 28 through July 4 and Dec. 30 through Jan. 1 each year.

Tents around town sell fireworks that are supposed to be legal for use in cities that allow them, according to Dvorak.

"As long as they don't explode and don't leave the ground, it's permissible," she said.

Pyrotechnics and other fireworks that do explode and leave the ground can only be legal when used by organizations that have the proper permits, which is the case for shows put on by city governments and other agencies.

In Mesa, fireworks that are generally allowed are sparklers, poppers and snappers. Regardless of being legal, they become dangerous if not used properly, warned Dvorak.

"As a host of a party, it's a good idea to have a clear area around it, away from the home, away from dried brush and away from all structures and wood fences," she said.

Pets and children can also be in harm's way if they are too close to the fireworks.

"At the very least, have a hose available or have a bucket of water," she added.

Check this document to see which Arizona cities allow fireworks and what regulations they have.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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