Stay Safe: Fireworks & Independence Day

Stay safe by attending public firework shows.

Fireworks Hotline

  • To report illegal fireworks on July 3, 4, 5, call (505) 833-7335.
  • To report illegal fireworks any other time of the year, call (505) 833-7390

Fireworks Patrols

Albuquerque Fire Department units will patrol July 3 and 4, inspecting local firework vendors and neighborhoods, looking for illegal fireworks.

Those who are caught will be cited and will have a mandatory court appearance.

Fireworks Penalties

Anyone who is caught with illegal fireworks will be cited, have their fireworks confiscated, must go to court and could face up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Although celebrating July Fourth with a loud bang may sound like the patriotic thing to do this upcoming Independence Day weekend, Albuquerque Fire Department leaders are encouraging you not give in to the temptation to put on your own show. Fireworks can cause serious injuries, including burns, lacerations, eye injuries, vision loss, dismemberment, and even death.

According to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were eight deaths related to fireworks accidents in the United States in 2013, adding to the 86 fireworks-related deaths recorded since 2000. Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all eight deaths. In addition, approximately 11,400 people sustained injuries related to fireworks in 2013; 65 percent of these injuries occurred in the 30 days around July 4, 2013 (June 21-July 21).

Sadly, children and young adults were the most frequently affected by fireworks accidents that required emergency room treatment. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 240 people were admitted to the emergency room due to fireworks-related injuries in the months surrounding the July Fourth holiday, 2014.

Many of those injuries weren’t caused by larger fireworks. In fact, most young children injured by fireworks suffered burns from sparklers, which are often mistakenly considered safe for kids. Fire Department leaders are encouraging Metro Area residents to celebrate in the safest way possible by letting the professionals discharge fireworks at a public firework displays.

The city-sponsored Freedom Fourth event is one example of a high quality, enjoyable, and safe event.

"If you must buy fireworks, buy local to ensure they are legal," said Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey. "Remember that no fireworks of any kind are allowed to be discharged in the Bosque, Open Space areas, or City parks."

Firework Guidelines

The following fireworks are illegal:

  • Ground audible devices: Chasers and Fire crackers.
  • Aerial devices: including Aerial shell kits and Reloadable tubes, Aerial spinners, Helicopters, Mines, Missile-type, etc.

Once ignited, aerial and ground audible devices take an unpredictable flight path and pose a significant fire hazard to structures and vegetation. They also possess a significant injury potential to the user and innocent bystanders. These devices are also disturbing to public peace.

The following fireworks are legal and may be used:

  • Cone Fountains, Crackling Devices, Cylindrical fountains, and Flitter sparklers.
  • Ground Spinners, Illuminating torches, Toy smoke devices, and Wheels.

If you buy fireworks from retail stores and stands within city limits, the fireworks are legal. Read the Warning Label. If it reads "WARNING," it is illegal. If it reads "CAUTION," it is legal.

Firework Safety

If you must use fireworks, please follow these firework safety tips:

  • Fireworks should not be used on "Red Flag Warning" days, as these days indicate extreme risk for fires. To keep current, go to www.weather.gov
  • What and where to buy -Always buy fireworks from local vendors.
  • Have a water source close by.
  • Supervision - Always have an adult present and never allow children to use fireworks.
  • Use caution - Always use fireworks outdoors on a paved area clear from homes, trees, vegetation, and other combustible materials.
  • Follow directions - Always read and follow directions carefully. Only light one firework at a time then move away quickly.
  • Disposal - Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water.
  • Do not attempt to make your own fireworks. Homemade fireworks (for example, ones made of the powder from several firecrackers) can lead to dangerous and unpredictable explosions.