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University encourages safe holiday weekend

July 1, 2010

The Fourth of July means a three-day weekend filled with summer fun and tradition. But for some, the holiday also means a barrage of fireworks going off in neighborhoods close to the Colorado State University campus. Each year, neighbors around campus get frustrated with illegal fireworks being set off at inopportune times of the day and night.

Penalties and fines

Fireworks of any kind are illegal in the city of Fort Collins. The penalty for a fireworks violation will result in:

  • confiscation of the fireworks
  • issuance of a summons into municipal court
  • fine of $1,000

To discourage illegal fireworks, the Municipal Court has increased a fireworks violation fine from $250 last year without a mandatory court appearance to $1,000 this year with a mandatory court date. Fireworks should be left to professionals to avoid a summons, costly fines, possible fireworks-related injury and fire danger. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, 8,800 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in 2009.

Complaints of danger

In 2009, Fort Collins Police Services received a total of 442 firework complaints, many of which were related to the 4th of July. Police and Poudre Fire Authority officials emphasize that the use of fireworks within the city limits can present a fire danger to homes and property.

Pets become frightened, disoriented

Fireworks can also be a nuisance to pets. Every year around the Fourth of July holiday, animal shelters like Larimer Humane Society see a surge of lost dogs brought into the shelter by Animal Protection and Control officers or a good-natured neighbor.

Frightened by the booms, bangs and bright lights that accompany fireworks, many tragically terrified dogs will break free of their outdoor leash or jump a fence looking for a safe haven. Many will travel in the fright of night, later to be found miles from their homes, exhausted and disoriented.

Pets that are home alone during the Fourth should be left inside or other secure places where they will feel safe. For helpful behavioral tips regarding dogs and loud noises, visit the Larimer Humane Society website.

Fort Collins and CSU police departments and the Poudre Fire Authority officials said that increased enforcement will be in place for people who bring fireworks of any kind into the city.

Fireworks show at City Park

The city of Fort Collins will host a show in a safe and controlled environment at dusk, at approximately 9:35 p.m. Sunday in City Park. Pets, alcohol and fireworks are not allowed.

Contact: Jim Beers
Phone: (970) 491-6401