Police warn against illegal fireworks in Colorado

Police warn against illegal fireworks in Colorado

Police warn against illegal fireworks in Colorado

DENVER (KDVR) — Police and experts want everyone to stay safe and out of trouble during the Fourth of July holiday, especially when it comes to fireworks.

The types of fireworks that are legal in Colorado depend on where you live. However, a good rule of thumb is that if a firework takes off from the ground, it is not legal in the state.

Anyone caught using unauthorized fireworks could end up in trouble.

If fireworks come out of the ground, they are illegal in Colorado.

Business was booming at Olde Glory Fireworks on Wednesday. Shop owner Aeron Calkins said crowds will shop at the store between July 3 and the holiday itself, buying their wares as they prepare to celebrate.

Calkins said buyers can trust that the products they sell are legal.

“It’s low to the ground, it’s safe and sane, the fountains, the novelty, the smoke and all that, but everything in this room is legal. It’s inspected, the labels are checked, it’s tested beforehand. So everything in here is safe and legal as long as your city or county allows it,” Calkins said.

In Colorado, if a firework comes out of the ground, it is illegal. In some places, like Denver, all fireworks are illegal. Douglas County still allows the use of fireworks that do not come out of the ground, but they ask residents to be careful when using them.

“If you use other types of sparklers or small fireworks, we ask that you be very careful, because we have already seen several grass fires this year caused by children playing with fireworks,” said Deborah Takahara, public information director for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

DENVER, COLORADO – JULY 3: Fireworks are lit during Independence Eve at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colo., on Monday, July 3, 2023. The event, presented by the City and County of Denver, celebrated the Fourth of July with performances, a light show and fireworks to end the night. (Photo by Grace Smith/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

What to do if you see illegal fireworks

If you have lived in Colorado for any length of time, you know that people still use illegal fireworks. Police cannot issue a citation unless someone witnesses the use of the fireworks.

Douglas County is opening a new hotline for residents to report incidents to police.

“We have extra staff on duty tonight,” Takahara said Wednesday. “We’ve set up a special hotline, a fireworks hotline, that people can call if they see someone using illegal fireworks so we can respond to those calls. Last year, we received hundreds of calls every night over the Fourth of July weekend, so we expect it to be very busy.”

If you want to report a fireworks incident, remember not to call 911. Most police departments ask that you call their department’s non-emergency line. They also ask that you not hold celebrations in the street.

If you live in Douglas County and would like to report the use of illegal fireworks, please call the hotline at 303-814-7118. The hotline will be active from Wednesday, July 3 at 6 p.m. to Saturday, July 6 at midnight.