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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.

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