The Arizona Legislature has adopted House Bill 2008 (PDF). This legislation now pre-empts and requires that local jurisdictions in Maricopa and Pima Counties allow for both the sale and use of permissible consumer fireworks during certain times of the year.
Scottsdale must now allow for the sale of permissible consumer fireworks from May 20 through July 6 and from Dec. 10 through Jan. 3. Additionally, the use of permissible consumer fireworks must be allowed from June 24 through July 6 and from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3.
Listed below are general and Scottsdale specific guidelines and information for Scottsdale residents, visitors, businesses and fireworks vendors. If you have specific questions that are not addressed below, please call 480-312-1855.
On June 3, 2014, the Scottsdale City Council adopted Ordinance #4157 to bring the City’s fireworks ordinance into compliance with state law and to specifically address the use of fireworks in the city. This was passed as an emergency measure and is currently in effect.
The Ordinance also sets specific guidelines, penalties and liability related to the use of consumer fireworks and requires that the following local regulatory items be followed.
- The sale and use of consumer fireworks is strictly prohibited with the exception of the dates and times previously identified by State Law.
- The use of permissible consumer fireworks with in the city is still prohibited at all times on all publicly owned properties, which include but is not limited to, city buildings, city parking lots, city parks, public schools and city streets.
- The use of permissible consumer fireworks is also prohibited on all McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Pinnacle Peak Park properties and all properties located within one mile of these Preserve properties.
- A first violation of Preserve restrictions part of the Ordinance is a civil offense punishable by a minimum fine of $1,000. Subsequent violations are a class one misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $2,000.
- Failure to comply with the proper timing and use of consumer fireworks on private property is a civil offense punishable by a minimum fine of $250.
- A person must be 18 years of age to purchase or use consumer fireworks in the City of Scottsdale. Signs will be posted at all retail sites identifying this requirement.
- A person who uses, discharges or ignites consumer fireworks is still liable for any expenses associated with the fire loss or emergency response that results from the use of these devices.
- The use and display of Professional, Commercial fireworks shows will require a permit from the Scottsdale Fire Chief or his designee from the Fire & Life Safety Division.
Permits, Guidelines and Vendor Information
Fireworks are classified in three categories: 1) Professional use aerial types; 2) Consumer grade fireworks; and 3) Novelty items. Professional use aerial fireworks are what you see used in large July 4 and New Year's events. They are not allowed to be sold to anyone that is not licensed for their use. By definition, permissible Consumer fireworks cannot leave the ground and fly into the air. Most are made to be set on the ground and ignited in a controlled setting. Some are hand-held devices. All have clearly marked manufacturer guidelines for their proper use and all are required to be used outdoors. Novelty items are small devices that are allowed to be sold and used at anytime. Novelty items include smoke balls, poppers, and small wire sparklers. Novelty items also have clearly marked manufacturer guidelines on the package for the proper use of the item.
Color Information Sheet Showing Consumer and Novelty Firework Examples (PDF)
Retail Sales Guidelines for Consumer Fireworks (PDF)
Note: The requirements listed in this document are general items and not inclusive of all the requirements detailed in the COS Ordinance #4157 and NFPA 1124 (where applicable). On-site inspections may find items not listed but required.
City ordinance #4157 requires that signage be posted by all displays selling Consumer Grade fireworks. The sign MUST be as shown, RED INK on WHITE background.
Required Signage at point-of-sale locations and displays (PDF)
A Consumer Fireworks Retail Sale permit from the Fire Department is required by any business entity selling Consumer Fireworks whether in a building or temporary structure. If selling from a temporary structure, i.e. tents, planning approval is required and a Fire Code required tent permit is required.
Consumer Fireworks Retail Sale permit application (PDF)
The potential for a major wildland fire incident is present in Scottsdale throughout most of the year. The threat increases dramatically during the summer months, and often peaks around the 4th of July holiday, when the highest sales and use of consumer fireworks is expected.
Beyond the risk of fire danger, is the potential for burns and traumatic firework injuries. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports in the year 2012 alone, approximately 8,700 people were treated for injuries in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. The risk of fireworks injuries (burns, lacerations, contusions) for teens age 15-19 and children 5-9, was two times higher than the risk experienced by the general public.