Denver firework citations don’t remotely reflect the number of people shooting off fireworks

Fireworks on July 3, or Independence Day Eve. 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Maybe it’s not quite this bad. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Fourth of July is coming up, and that means plenty of fireworks will be in the sky throughout Denver. And we’re not talking about the official, sanctioned displays. It’s illegal to set off your own fireworks in the city, but just how often are people actually cited? Not that often, it turns out.

We looked at citations for June and July for the past four years and citations so far this year.

Here are Denver firework citations, by the numbers:

Firework Citations
NEIGHBORHOOD
JUN-JUL 2014
JUN-JUL 2015
JUN-JUL 2016
JUN 1-JUN 26 2017
1 Athmar Park 3 0 0 1
2 Baker 0 1 0 0
3 Barnum 2 4 3 2
4 Barnum West 0 1 0 1
5 Central Business District 0 1 0 0
6 Clayton 1 0 0 0
7 College View – South Platte 1 0 1 0
8 Elyria-Swansea 4 0 0 0
9 Hampden 0 2 0 2
10 Hampden South 1 0 0 0
11 Harvey Park 0 0 1 1
12 Harvey Park South 1 0 0 0
13 Lincoln Park 0 1 1 0
14 Lowry Field 1 0 3 0
15 Mar Lee 0 1 0 2
16 Montbello 5 0 0 1
17 Red Rocks 0 1 0 0
18 Ruby Hill 0 3 1 1
19 Sun Valley 1 0 0 0
20 Sunnyside 1 1 0 0
21 University Hills 0 2 0 0
22 Valverde 1 1 2 1
23 Villa Park 1 1 0 0
24 Virginia Village 0 1 0 0
25 West Colfax 3 0 0 0
26 West Highland 0 1 0 0
27 Westwood 3 0 0 3
28 Grand Total 29 22 12 15

The Montbello neighborhood garnered the most firework citations in 2014. Other neighborhoods like Clayton, Elyria-Swansea, Hampden South, Harvey Park South, Sun Valley and Sunnyside haven’t received a firework citation between the months of June and July in three years.

Barnum has had the most firework citations between the months of June and July over the past three years. The neighborhood has had 11 firework citations issued since 2014, two of which occurred this June.

Types of Firework Citations Issued
TYPE
JUN-JUL 2014
JUN-JUL 2015
JUN-JUL 2016
JUN 1-JUN 26 2017
1 Fire Restrictions & Bans; Fireworks ~ Parks 0 3 4 0
2 Fireworks Unlawful ~ Parks 0 1 1 2
3 Firework Violations 29 17 7 12
4 Fireworks Unlawful Use 0 1 0 0
5 Prohibited Sale of Fireworks 0 0 0 1
6 Grand Total 29 22 12 15

Firework citations can be issued for illegal sales of fireworks, unlawful use of fireworks, unlawful use of fireworks in parks and just general violations of the fireworks ban, which is the most common citation.

More firework violations have occurred between June 1 and June 26 of this year than in all of June and July of last year.

“If you have to light it or ignite it, it’s illegal”  

There isn’t a whole lot people in Denver can do with fireworks. This is the flyer that Denver Police use to educate the public about fireworks, and as you can see, there isn’t a lot of nuance here. It is illegal in Denver to possess, manufacture, store, sell, handle and use fireworks. One note: recent changes to municipal sentencing mean that the maximum jail sentence is 300 days, not a year.

(Courtesy of the Denver Police Department)
(Courtesy of the Denver Police Department)