[Douglas County, Colorado] As Independence Day approaches, it is essential to know how one can celebrate the holiday safely. It is also crucial to understand the legal ramifications regarding the use of fireworks.
Each year the careless use of fireworks contributes to personal injuries and significant financial losses to property owners, insurance companies, and the community. The use of illegal fireworks could also result in criminal charges such as Arson, Criminal Mischief, Reckless Endangerment, and civil penalties for damages caused by the illegal fireworks.
Fireworks that explode or leave the ground are always illegal in Colorado. The use of illegal fireworks in unincorporated county areas is a Class 3 Misdemeanor and is punishable with fines from $50 to a maximum of $750.00 and/or up-to six months imprisonment.
For those that live in incorporated Douglas County, please visit your city’s website for policies on fireworks.
But it is more than just an issue of what is legal or illegal. The night of the Fourth, as well as several nights leading up to it, always come with a huge increase in the calls for service relating to fireworks complaints.
Every year our dispatch center is inundated with calls from citizens reporting that they hear fireworks going off somewhere in their neighborhood. This severely impacts our call system and could affect our response to other calls for service.
Please help us, so we can properly help our community.
We have established a Fireworks Hotline to report the use of illegal fireworks. This means you are seeing someone set off the illegal fireworks, not just hearing them in your neighborhood. We need to know the exact address that they are being used.
The hotline, 303-814-7118, will be active on June 30th through July 4th from 4:00 pm until midnight. Please use the non-emergency number, 303-660-7500, outside those dates and times.
Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 to report the use of fireworks unless there is an injury or an actual fire.
Again, please do not call to report the sound of fireworks, only use the hotline if you see someone using the illegal fireworks.
We recommend that you celebrate the holiday by watching professional firework shows to avoid accidents and legal consequences.
Video message from Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly: