The Moscow Fire Department would like to remind the community of safety practices and laws regarding fireworks as the July 4th Independence Day holiday approaches.

According to Idaho Code Section 39-2606, “nonaerial common fireworks” are allowed to be sold and used beginning midnight on June 23rd until midnight on July 5th. Nonaerial common fireworks are defined by Idaho Code (Section 39-2602) as “any fireworks such as ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes designed to remain on or near the ground and not to travel outside a fifteen (15) foot diameter circle or emit sparks or other burning material which land outside a twenty (20) foot diameter circle or above a height of twenty (20) feet.” These types of familiar fireworks are known as “safe and sane.”

• Only use fireworks outdoors

• Always have water handy (hose or bucket)

• Only use fireworks as intended—don’t try to alter them or combine them

• Never relight a “dud” firework—wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water

• Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter

• The shooter should wear safety glasses

• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix—have a “designated shooter”

• Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type

• Never use illegal or homemade fireworksthey can kill you  

According to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,200 injuries in U.S. emergency rooms in 2022, with a trending increase of over 500 fireworks-related injuries a year from 2007 to 2022. Also in 2022, 11 non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths were reported.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that nearly 20,000 fires—including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires—are started by fireworks every year. In 2018, such fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. 

Illegal fireworks are prohibited at any time and the use of these dangerous explosives may result in life-threatening injuries, extensive property damage, and out-of-control fires. Illegal fireworks are those commonly known as “firecrackers,” “bottle rockets,” “cherry bombs,” “roman candles,” or other explosive devices that do not meet the definition of nonaerial common fireworks. Illegal fireworks are not available for purchase in the city of Moscow. Residents are urged to use extreme caution when purchasing fireworks outside the city, as there are opportunities nearby to purchase fireworks considered illegal in Moscow.

If you are caught discharging non-aerial common fireworks outside of the permitted dates or illegal fireworks at any time, your fireworks can be confiscated and you can be subject to a misdemeanor criminal charge that may result in a fine and or jail time. Please remember the fire danger and injuries fireworks can cause, follow these guidelines, and enjoy a safe holiday.

Story Contact: Dan Ellinwood, Division Chief/Fire Marshal 
Phone: (208) 882-2831