‘Individual responsibility’: Law enforcement hopes people follow the fireworks ban in SLC

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The firework ban in Salt Lake City has fire officials on high alert.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department said even though the ban is in place, they know there could be people who break the rules.

The ban is a collaborative effort between the Salt Lake City Fire Department and police department, but once people cross city lines, as of now, they are more than welcome to responsibly light off fireworks if it’s not in a restricted area. 

“Our simple message is don’t do it,” said Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Anthony Burton.

During the ban, if someone lights off fireworks, it is a Class B misdemeanor and can include up to a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. 

However a judge would ultimately be the one to decide the fine and jail time.

Detective Ruff with Salt Lake City Police said they will enforce the ban the best they can, but are currently understaffed.

“We want people to call us and report those incidents, but just be prepared it may take some time to respond because we still need to make sure we are taking care of those priority calls that are coming in as well,” said Det. Ruff.

As well as a possible fine and jail time, fireworks could be one spark away from igniting a wildfire.

Police said if someone is found responsible for causing a wildfire, they most likely would be responsible to pay for the cost to fight the fire.

“Overall, I think the fire department and community is feeling pretty good about this decision,” said Burton.

Burton said every year there are some sort of restrictions in place, but this year it’s a city-wide ban.

“We are asking the community more-so than ever to kind of police themselves to have more community involvement and more education,” said Burton.

Both the fire and police department will enforce the ban and want community members to call them if they see anyone lighting off fireworks.

The goal for Detective Ruff is to make sure people are aware of the ban and follow it.

“We do not want to make arrests we do not want to have to fight people,” said Ruff.

SLC police can be contacted at (801) 799-3000.

Fireworks stands throughout the state will be selling most of the same stuff.

Firework stands in Salt Lake CIty will look no different than the others, but you can not light them off within city limits.

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