Fireworks: the legal and the illegal

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By AJ Vicens

If it leaves the ground, or if it explodes, chances are it’s illegal.

That’s the advice from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office when it comes to which fireworks Jeffco residents should enjoy when celebrating the nation’s 232nd birthday this weekend.

“Colorado law defines permissible fireworks as any device that does not explode or leave the ground,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement June 18. It lists cylindrical or cone fountains, sparklers, toy smoke devices, snakes and glow worms as legal fireworks. “Keep in mind: While permissible fireworks may seem harmless, they continue to account for many fireworks-related injuries each year.”

Illegal fireworks can cause a legal headache for those caught possessing them, using them or selling them. The crime is a class 3 misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $750. The sheriff’s office is also encouraging people to report their neighbors if they observe illegal fireworks by calling 303-271-8025. That fireworks tip line also serves as a resource for those looking to find public fireworks shows, and where to purchase legal fireworks.

South Jeffco offers several options for viewing fireworks shows. Foothills Park & Recreation District is hosting the Red, White and You event at from 6 to 9:45 p.m. July 3 at Clement Park. The event includes a Kids Zone, a performance by the Hot Flash Band and a free fireworks show starting at 9:30 p.m.

Bandimere Speedway in Morrison is hosting the Jet Car Nationals and Family Festival on July 4. This event offers races, games, rides, music, contests, a troop salute and a fireworks show. For more information, visit www.2008familyfestival.org.

The sheriff’s office has compiled a list of legal and illegal fireworks, which can be found at www.jeffcosheriff.com. Some of the more common firework types are listed below:

Illegal fireworks:

• bottle rockets

• cherry bombs

• explosive devices

• firecrackers

• helicopters

• M-100s

• M-80s

• mortars, rockets

• Roman candles

Some permissible or legal fireworks:

• cylindrical or cone fountains

• sparklers

• glow worms

• ground spinners

• party poppers

• smoke bombs

• snakes

• toy smoke devices