During the 2017 fireworks season, questions were raised about the types of fireworks allowed, the number of days it is legal to use fireworks, fire prevention, and liability concerns. In order to address these issues in a balanced and appropriate manner, Rep. Jim Dunnigan and Sen. Jani Iwamoto worked together on legislation that balances these concerns with the desire many Utahns have to be able to celebrate our most patriotic holidays with traditional displays of fireworks. HB 38, Fireworks Restrictions, is the result of numerous meetings with law enforcement, firefighters, fireworks retailers and manufacturers, citizens, and local elected officials.
A balanced approach
This legislation takes a balanced, bipartisan, and reasonable approach to addressing the many viewpoints on how and when fireworks should be allowed.
40% reduction in dates fireworks are allowed to be discharged in July
- Fireworks will be allowed on July 2-5 (instead of July 1-7) and July 22-25 (instead of June 23- 27).
- Fireworks would still be allowed on New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Sale of fireworks
- June 24-July 25 (from June 23-July 27).
- New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s eve remain the same.
Stronger penalties for shooting fireworks outside of permitted dates and times
- A penalty for discharging fireworks when not permitted would be up to a $1,000 fine.
New penalty for igniting fireworks in restricted areas
- Up to a $1,000 penalty and an infraction for discharging fireworks in an area where fireworks have been prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.
More local control
- Provides clarity and increased flexibility to local governments and the state forester to prohibit the discharge of fireworks due to historic or current hazardous environmental conditions.
Easier to understand restrictions and penalties
- Requires local governments and the state forester to create and provide maps showing where fireworks are prohibited due to hazardous environmental conditions.
- Requires retailers to display maps that counties provide showing these restricted areas and display signs that indicate legal dates and times as well as criminal penalties and fines for violations.
Increased liability for causing a fire with fireworks
- Civil liability for negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causing a fire with fireworks potentially includes any damages caused by the fire and any costs of suppressing the fire.