Wheat Ridge Police will strictly enforce fireworks ban

Wheat Ridge, CO ~ As the 4th of July holiday approaches, the Wheat Ridge Police Department wants to make all residents aware of the city’s laws against the use of fireworks. All fireworks, including fountains and sparklers, are illegal within city the city limits. Section 5-86 of the Wheat Ridge Code of Laws prohibits fireworks and establishes punishment for violations in the form of fines, jail time or both. Anyone in possession of fireworks in the City of Wheat Ridge will be cited into Municipal Court, and may face a fine of up to $999, up to a year in jail, or both. If the illegal use of fireworks causes serious bodily injury or damages property, more serious felony charges could be applied.

Historically the Wheat Ridge Police Department receives a high call volume related to complaints concerning the use of illegal fireworks. The increase in call load can greatly impact the response time to more urgent, human safety calls. As in year’s past, the department will have extra officers on duty specifically for fireworks enforcement over the 4th of July weekend.

The threat of fires is very high in the state once again as evidenced in the recent wildfires around the state. The State of Colorado also has a statewide fireworks ban currently in effect. The risks for damage to property and injury from illegal fireworks use can skyrocket in dry conditions such as these. A 2011 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study found that “200 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.”

“It all comes down to community safety.” explains Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan, “The department experiences a large increase in calls for service around this time of year related to the illegal use of fireworks. Calls like these take away from our time to work on more serious calls for service. We want our citizens to have a fun 4th of July, but we also want them to have a safe holiday. I would encourage everyone to take in one of the many planned Fourth of July celebrations held throughout the Denver-metro area.”

The Wheat Ridge Fire Department, Arvada Fire Department, West Metro Fire and the Fairmount Fire Department will have extra staff on call to respond to any emergencies. The Wheat Ridge Fire Department will be accepting surrendered fireworks from citizens with no questions asked. “The police department is taking a proactive enforcement stance against the illegal use of fireworks in our community.” adds Chief Brennan, “Our officers will issue summonses, when appropriate, for any and all violations of the fireworks ordinance. That includes possession, use, storage and sale of fireworks within the City of Wheat Ridge.”

If you have any questions regarding the use of fireworks in Wheat Ridge, please call our Crime Prevention Office at 303-235-2910.

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