Utah Legislature Cuts Back Number of Fireworks Days

Posted on 03/05/2018

The Utah State Legislature has voted to cut back the number of days Utahns can shoot off fireworks from 14 days to eight. But lawmakers resisted attempts to allow cities to ban fireworks altogether.

Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, supported an amendment that would have allowed cities to adopt a complete fireworks ban. She pointed to the errant fireworks that damaged a neighbor’s house and other structures, near 3400 E. Banbury Road, and burned about 25 surrounding acres. But fellow legislators expressed concern that an outright ban would shift the problem, causing residents in cities where fireworks were banned to go to neighboring cities to light them off.

Last July 11, the Cottonwood Heights City Council banned all personal aerial fireworks that reach higher than 15 feet in the air. Ordinance 275, which was effective through Dec. 29, 2017, was passed in response to extreme fire danger in the area. The fireworks that caused the damage in Cottonwood Heights City last July 4 were set off in a restricted/banned area, but city officials had hoped that a temporary aerial ban would prompt the Legislature to grant communities more control over fireworks.

The bill that legislators passed allows use of fireworks from July 2-5 and July 22-25. It also gives cities power to ban fireworks in certain areas depending on fire hazards. Additionally, it raises the fines for non-compliance from $750 to $1,000, and clearly makes people who set off fireworks liable for any damage they cause. House Bill 38 cleared both the House and Senate and awaits the governor’s signature.