UFA reminds residents of fireworks restrictions and safety precautions

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Tents and tables at local fireworks stands begin to go up in flames. The sale of fireworks can begin on June 24 in accordance with Utah law. Here are some reminders for residents of Cottonwood Heights:

Legal fireworks can only be fired in permitted areas on specific dates. Fireworks are permitted between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 2, July 3, July 5, July 22, July 23, and July 25. Fireworks are permitted between 11 a.m. and midnight on July 4 and July 24.

Fireworks can only be set off in approved areas. The Cottonwood Heights fireworks restricted areas map has been updated with some changes to residential areas and neighborhoods.

“This coming year there will be a little more leniency with the fireworks card,” reported United Fire Authority Deputy Chief Riley Pilgrim.

The UFA has reassessed some of the previously restricted areas based on resident requests. Additionally, various restrictions have been placed on areas where owners have raised concerns. The majority of the east side of Cottonwood Heights, along Wasatch Boulevard, has been recognized as a fireworks restricted area.

“There is a clear dividing line this year on 3000 East,” Pilgrim said.

Additional restrictions include areas around: Butler Park (7500 S. 2700 East), Brighton High School (2220 Bengal Blvd.), Crestwood Park (1673 E. Siesta Drive), Antczak Park (1850 E. 7200 South), Mountain View Cemetery (3115 Bengal Blvd.), Canyon View Elementary (3050 Bengal Blvd.), Mill Hollow Park (2900 Hollow Mill Drive), Butler Elementary (7000 S. 2700 East), Whitmore Library (2197 E. Fort Union Blvd.) , Boulder Drive, Caladora Cove, Woodbridge Lane, Hilden Court, Siesta Hills Court, Mary Esther Circle and Denmark Drive.

As always, all fireworks are restricted to within 200 feet of a waterway, urban park, urban interface or trail.

(Cottonwood Heights City Council passed the new map by approving Resolution 2022-21 designating areas closed to fireworks dump due to unsafe environmental conditions on April 19. The resolution was moved by Council Member Council Ellen Birrell, seconded by Council Member Doug Peterson, and approved unanimously.)

In the State of Utah, prohibited types of fireworks include, but are not limited to, cherry bombs, roman candles, flares, bottle rockets, one-shot mortars, M-80 and firecrackers.

“Our goal is to educate, but repeat offenders will be heavily fined,” Pilgrim said.

A fine of $1,000 will be imposed on anyone who sets off fireworks outside of legally determined dates and times or in a restricted area. This law was renewed this year with the HB 38 fireworks restrictions (sponsored by Rep. James Dunnigan and Senator Jani Iwamoto) and went into effect May 8.

To ensure that personal fireworks are both fun and safe, the UFA recommends securing all fireworks in place using bricks or cinder blocks, never allowing children to playing or lighting fireworks, backing up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks, lighting fireworks one at a time, keep a bucket of water or a hose handy sprinkler and soak used fireworks overnight.

The candles burn at over 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. All fireworks can cause severe burns. In 2020, the most common burns were to hands and fingers (30%), as well as legs (23%), head, face and ears (16%), eyes (15%) and arms (ten[LL1] %).

Also, don’t forget about the safety of furry family members. Animals tend to be afraid of loud noises, bright lights, and the sulfurous smell of fireworks, and many pets disappear during fireworks festivities. The UFA recommends making sure pets are in a safe area on nights when fireworks are common and checking in with them. If the animal shows signs of stress, keep it indoors overnight.

Instead of lighting personal fireworks, Cottonwood Heights is encouraging residents to watch the fireworks display during Butlerville Days on Saturday, July 30 at 10 p.m.

To report illegal fireworks activity, residents of Cottonwood Heights can report non-emergency fireworks issues by calling the non-emergency dispatch line at 801-840-4000. Salt Lake City residents can report non-emergency fireworks by calling 801-799-3000.

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Susan W. Lloyd