Las Vegas, Nevada - As "safe and sane" fireworks go on sale Tuesday, Clark County fire and building officials are reminding residents to use caution with fireworks. Only fireworks labeled "safe and sane" are legal for use in Clark County, and only from Tuesday, June 28, through Monday, July 4, when it's legal for authorized dealers to sell them.
"It is important to remember that any fireworks can cause injuries or start fires if not used with caution, even those labeled `safe and sane,'" said Ron Lynn, director of Clark County's Department of Building and Fire Prevention. "All firecrackers and any fireworks that shoot into the air are illegal for use in Clark County unless they are part of a permitted fireworks show."
Legal, "safe and sane" fireworks include sparklers and fireworks that keep to a small, circular area on the ground and don't explode in the air. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, Roman candles, sky rockets – any item made of highly combustible materials. Any fireworks purchased from vendors located outside of Clark County may be illegal. The County and other Las Vegas Valley jurisdictions have tested and approved "safe and sane" fireworks from wholesalers Phantom Fireworks and TNT Fireworks for the 2016 Fourth of July season. Possessing or using illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor in Clark County. No fireworks, even those labeled, "safe and sane," are allowed at Red Rock, Mount Charleston, Lake Mead, Tule Springs or other federal areas. The Moapa Band of Paiutes has agreed to distribute a letter from Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell on behalf of multiple agencies letting their customers know that only fireworks labeled `safe and sane' are allowed for use in local jurisdictions. Fireworks purchased at the tribe's Travel Plaza in Moapa can be shot off legally from a designated launch pad outside the store.
"Even `safe and sane' fireworks can harm people and cause property damage if they are not used responsibly," said Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell. "We truly appreciate the cooperation of the Moapa Band of Paiutes in helping us educate the public about the safe use of fireworks. We also want to remind the public that it's imperative for adults to supervise children any time fireworks are in use. Most fireworks-related injuries happen to children age 5 to 14 when adults aren't present or paying close enough attention."
Clark County's Fire Prevention Bureau expects to issue about 140 permits to non-profit organizations to operate booths authorized to sell "safe and sane" fireworks. Fire Inspectors will conduct inspections at fireworks booths during the authorized sales period of June 28-July 4.
Clark County is partnering with multiple agencies to raise awareness about fireworks safety. Chief Cassell's inter-agency letter to fireworks customers was sent to vendors in Pahrump, Amargosa Valley and the Moapa Band of Paiutes. Messages on Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) highway reader boards on the I-15 and U.S. 95, as well as the I-215 Beltway, will remind motorists to be fire safe and to only use "safe & sane" fireworks during the authorized sales period.
Clark County's Public Communications Office also created a light-hearted public service announcement illustrating the safe use of fireworks. The PSA will air on Clark County Television (CCTV) and local Cox cable TV stations. It's also posted on www.ClarkCountyNV.gov and the County's YouTube page, Twitter and Facebook sites. Agencies involved in the outreach effort include the Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite and Mount Charleston Fire Protection District fire departments as well as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol, NDOT, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
Officials recommend going to a professional fireworks show to see big fireworks displays. To date the Fire Prevention Bureau has received seven requests for permits from applicants planning to host professional fireworks shows over the Fourth of July holiday in unincorporated areas of Clark County, including the Las Vegas Strip and outlying rural areas. This list of proposed venues is posted on the agency's website and will be updated with the approach of the holiday. So far the list includes:
- July 1, 2 & 3 Mandalay Bay (Beach concert)
- July 2 Las Vegas Motor Speedway/dirt track, Lucas Oil racing event
- July 4 Clark County Fairgrounds in Logandale, Nev., east parking lot
- July 4 Primm Valley Resort
- July 4 Caesars Palace
- July 4 Encore Las Vegas (XS Nightclub)
- July 4 Las Vegas Country Club, 3000 Joe W. Brown
The use of fireworks comes when wildfire danger is highest because vegetation is driest during the spring and summer months. The Fire Department encourages residents to clean up dry debris and brush around their property to limit the availability of fire fuels. The Fire Deaprtment and Fire Prevention Bureau pages on Clark County's website contain Fireworks safety tips. Key recommendations include:
- Always use fireworks outdoors and have a water supply ready in case of fire.
- Place fireworks on a flat, hard surface in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and dry brush.
- Keep your pets indoors and away from fireworks.
- Never allow kids to play with fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous. Close adult supervision is required.
- Light one firework at a time and quickly move away. Coordinate the lighting of items so everyone in your group anticipates when fireworks will be set off and won't be surprised.
- Place discharged fireworks into a bucket of water overnight to make sure they don't reignite. Make sure there are no remaining sparks, embers or heated debris.
- Clean up litter left behind by fireworks.