Officials throughout Clark County want to send a clear message about illegal fireworks this summer.
“You light it. We write it.”
Officials announced Wednesday they’re cracking down this year. Anyone caught possessing or launching forbidden pyrotechnics will face fines of up to $1,000 and disposal fees in the hundreds of dollars.
So what is an illegal firework?
“If it leaves the ground and it makes loud popping noises, like (firecrackers) or M-80s, those are all illegal fireworks,” Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said.
Fireworks deemed “safe-and-sane” will go on sale in the county from June 28 through July 4.
They can be purchased from authorized retailers, usually operating from stands located outside local grocery and convenience stores. The fireworks will have the words “safe-and-sane” stamped on them.
North Las Vegas City Councilman Scott Black said that in 2016 more than 11,000 people in the U.S. received medical treatment at hospitals after being injured by fireworks. Nationwide, fire departments responded to about 50,000 fires linked to pyrotechnics.
“You take the fires, the injuries, and then you add to that the impact on pets, the impact on folks that are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, all these things combine together to cause a real problem and impact on our community’s public safety,” Black said.
In the coming weeks the county will launch a website for citizens to report illegal firework sightings. Locals are encouraged to report online at YouLightItWeWriteIt.Vegas instead of calling emergency services.
“The intent is to use the website to absorb the call volume,” Cassell said. “Last year we had problems with the 911 system being able to handle so many fire or police calls coming in at that crunch time that it shut the system down for a brief time.”
Metropolitan Police Department representative Chuck Callaway said his officers are preparing for the Fourth of July to be one of their busiest nights of the year. He asked for compliance with fireworks laws to keep people and property safe.
“There’s so many events out there that are permitted and run by professionals that there’s really no need to engage in illegal fireworks,” he said.
Contact Michael Scott Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.