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Deputies busy with fireworks complaints

Deputies busy with fireworks complaints

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -  Pima County deputies were busy dealing with hundreds of fireworks complaints on the Fourth of July eve.  Most of the calls came in between 9 PM and midnight.

The holiday weekend is a busy one for local law enforcement.  Many of the calls are related to fireworks.  Officials are also out conducting saturation patrols, and DUI checkpoints on this busy weekend, looking for those who've had too much to drink.

Pima County Deputy Nick Phaneuf said he hoped residents would be responsible as they celebrated their independence day.  Phaneuf reminded residents that certain fireworks were illegal for a good reason, they were extremely dangerous to use in your backyard.

"The aerial fireworks are illegal, bottle rockets, M-80's, Roman candles, those are all illegal.  If it goes up in the air and it bursts, it's illegal," said Phaneuf.

Arizona does allow the sale of certain types of fireworks. 'Ground fireworks' like sparklers, smoke devices and novelties are legal; while aerial fireworks like sky rockets and jumping jacks are not.

There are also restrictions on where people can use those fireworks. In Oro Valley and Marana people can buy fireworks and use them within town limits; while in Tucson people can buy fireworks, but are not able to fire them off within city limits. Novelty items like sparklers can be used within the city limits. They are not considered fireworks. 

One thing to also keep in mind when hosting a 4th of July party with fireworks, are you covered if something happens. 

AAA Arizona encourages party hosts to check their home owner's insurance or an umbrella policy, to see if it covers them if there's an injury or damage due to fireworks. In some cases there may not be coverage and it could cost a homeowner.

One of the challenges deputies faced was finding the culprits who are setting of the illegal fireworks.  Deputies cautioned residents to be aware of the law, and exercise common sense.

"We want you to have a good time, be definitely use your common sense. Don't use aerial fireworks.  The danger is it will start a brush fire, and it could light your neighbor's house on fire."

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