(L-R) Exchange students "Angel" Yu Ping Ding, "Melody" Hong Yu Ting, Mountain Pointe student Mercedes Gutierrez, "Alex" Lu Jui Chi and Emily Rauch light sparklers during the Halloween, Independence Day and New Years celebration for Phoenix Sister Cities at an Arcadia home on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
(L-R) Exchange students "Angel" Yu Ping Ding, "Melody" Hong Yu Ting, Mountain Pointe student Mercedes Gutierrez and "Alex" Lu Jui Chi light sparklers during the Halloween, Independence Day and New Years celebration for Phoenix Sister Cities at an Arcadia home on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
(L-R) Exchange partners "Melody" Hong Yu Ting, from Taiwan, and Mountain Pointe student Mercedes Gutierrez light sparklers during the Halloween, Independence Day and New Years celebration for Phoenix Sister Cities at an Arcadia home on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
Monday, June 30, 2014 8:00 am
Independence Day celebrations typically include barbecues and some involvement with fireworks, whether it is viewing a show done by professionals or launching them illegally, or, at the least, unsafely.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 2:30 pm
East Valley residents looking to launch off a few fireworks to celebrate the new year need to follow a few regulations depending on where they live.
Saturday, June 29, 2013 1:15 pm
The Phoenix Fire Department is sending out an annual reminder to all people to leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Phoenix firefighters demonstrate how dangerous a sparkler can be by lighting a cotton T-shirt on fire with just the sparks from a sparkler.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:16 pm
Residents of and visitors to Tempe who plan to celebrate Independence Day have a few regulations to follow in order to use fireworks.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 8:30 am
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 8:30 am
Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:00 pm
NEW YORK — Shoes are having a 21st century moment as they've pushed from mere accessory to the center of the fashion stage.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:15 pm
Something new is bubbling up in the world of cocktails as canny mixologists skip the soda and turn to sparkling wine as their new go-to mixer.
Saturday, September 1, 2012 12:06 am
Another test passed with flying colors for young Desert Ridge and possibly more questions for Mountain View after only week two.
Friday, August 17, 2012 2:00 am
"Sparkle" is like a box of July Fourth sparklers. It sizzles briefly whenever people open their mouths to sing, flames out, then flashes to life again when someone lights another musical sparkler.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 7:45 am
The city of Phoenix Fire Department wants residents to leave fireworks shows to the professionals.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 6:30 am
You wouldn’t know it by seeing all the fireworks tents that have sprung up at major intersections across the Valley, but fireworks aren’t legal in some East Valley communities.
Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:11 pm
This time of year, it’s hard to miss the displays of fireworks on
sale at grocery stores or inside parking lot tents.
But one thing is far less obvious to consumers: While it’s legal to
buy fireworks anyplace in Arizona, it’s illegal to actually use
them in many places.
Public safety advocates are trying to spread the word out of
concern the distinction is lost on many people.
Mesa police Det. Steven Berry said fireworks retailers are probably
doing their best to tell buyers whether it’s legal to use fireworks
where the products are being sold. But he said retailers may not
take into account that the buyer could live a few blocks away, in
another community where fireworks use is illegal.
Berry said he can see where confusion would arise.
“If people assume it’s readily available for sale in the grocery
store, they assume it must be legal, and that’s not really the
case,” Berry said.
In the East Valley, it’s legal to use fireworks Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
in Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek, as well as around the July 4th
But fireworks are illegal at all times in Chandler, Tempe and
Violations could result in fines of $250 or more.
Where fireworks are allowed, they can only be used on private
property. By state law, legal fireworks include ground-based
fountains, sparklers, pinwheels, smoke bombs, torches and wheels.
Any fireworks that explode or shoot into the air are
Arizona’s legislature opened the door to fireworks in 2010 by
allowing their sale. Cities and counties can restrict the use — but
they can’t prohibit sales.
The new law is a concern to the Valleywide Fire Officer Information
Network, a collation of 23 fire departments. The group notes that
8,800 people in the U.S. were treated in emergency rooms in 2009
for fireworks injuries, mostly to the hands, head or
Men accounted for 73 percent of injuries, according to the National
Fire Protection Association. The association counted 18,000 fires
and 1,300 structure fires associated with fireworks.
Police and firefighters say they know fireworks are used even where
they’re illegal, though problems vary.
Chandler police Sgt. Joe Favazzo said police respond to reports of
fireworks but that it’s hard to track the source by the time an
officer arrives. Most fireworks reported are small, make little
noise and don’t shoot into the air, he said.
“We just really have not seen a problem” Favazzo said.
Tempe did have some small fires last year around Independence Day,
fire inspector Jim Schmit said. One included some leaves burning on
a roof, but none of the fires caused major damage, Schmit
Tempe is working to keep better track of what fires or injuries are
fireworks related. The city could have more fireworks-related fires
than inspectors are aware of because some alley or trash bin fires
aren’t as fully investigated as other blazes. And some injuries
don’t get counted either, Schmit said.
“Sometimes people won’t tell you how they got burned,” he said.
“They may just say they got burned, not that they were playing with
In Tempe, retailers are supposed to post signs informing potential
buyers that fireworks use is illegal in the city. The Fire
Department inspects retailers, including the six or so tents that
were up last year.
The potential for fireworks use could be much higher this year
based on the number of tents, he said.
“There are a lot more out there now,” Schmit said. “I think we’ve
already inspected a dozen tents here in Tempe for New
• Contact writer: (480) 898-6548 or
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 7:36 am
This time of year, it’s hard to miss the displays of fireworks
on sale at grocery stores or inside parking lot tents.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 4:09 pm
With a greater concern of residents shooting off fireworks in
the aftermath of three devastating wildfires throughout Arizona,
East Valley police departments responded to a high volume of
complaints, but any damage caused by July 4 revelers appears to be
Friday, July 1, 2011 11:28 am
AAA Arizona is recommending that residents go to fireworks shows
for the Fourth of July instead of setting off their own
Friday, July 1, 2011 11:28 am
AAA Arizona is recommending that residents go to fireworks shows for the Fourth of July instead of setting off their own fireworks.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 4:15 am
Guest commentary by Tom Patterson
Saturday, April 30, 2011 8:08 am
Saying the measure has ``too many loopholes and flaws," Gov. Jan
Brewer late Friday vetoed legislation which would have allowed guns
into virtually all public buildings.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:31 am
If you want to celebrate with sparklers you may have to mark
Monday, February 28, 2011 11:00 pm
The state Senate on Monday narrowly rejected a bill that would
give local governments the authority to ban sales of fireworks made
legal under a state law that took effect last year.