New firework regulation to reduce flammability in Herriman, officials hope
May 07, 2018 12:57PM
By Travis Barton
Updates were made to firework regulation for Herriman City. (Pixabay)
Don’t light that fuse. Fireworks have new usage rules in Herriman boundaries.
With the approval of House Bill 38 in the recent legislative session creating firework regulations—such as limiting when they may be discharged and increasing the penalty for infractions—on April 18, the Herriman City Council unanimously voted to ban the use of fireworks in certain areas of the city.
“We do, as public safety officials, feel this is what’s in the best interests of both the safety of the public and property preservation,” Unified Fire Authority Chief Riley Pilgrim told the Herriman City Council on April 18.
Calls for fire and police, he said, significantly increase during July across the Salt Lake Valley. In a given hour, calls can go from 70–80 up to 300–400, he said.
“Sometimes several calls are waiting in the queue for minutes, if not 15–20 minutes before law enforcement or fire could get to each call,” Pilgrim said.
Significant changes enacted by the House Bill reduced the days of firework discharging to July 2–5 and July 22–25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (July 4 and 24 will be 11 a.m. to midnight). New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year’s Eve will still allow fireworks.
It also increased the fine up to $1,000 for infractions. “That includes any kind of negligent, reckless conduct in and outside the restricted areas,” Pilgrim said. “If you light a firework in an open area but it causes problems in a restricted area, you’ll still be held accountable for that.”
Bush and dry grass-covered areas are prohibited areas as is anywhere within 200 feet of waterways, trails, canyons, washes, ravines or similar areas.
Pilgrim, who spent several days surveying areas around the city, said one addition to the map this year will be Rosecrest Park (approximately 5600 West 13900 South). The Yukon subdivision next to Copper Mountain Middle School and Herriman High School will remain restricted, according to city documents.
Councilman Clint Smith, who also serves as Draper City Fire Chief, said the aim isn’t to deter celebrations but to limit risk.
“We are no strangers to the effects of these types of incidents in our area and again ask that our residents see the wisdom of putting this in place,” he said.
Smith urged residents to help enforce the rules during fireworks season.
While some may be disappointed at the additional limitations, Councilwoman Nicole Martin said based on her dialogue with residents last year, the general feeling was a desire to increase restrictions.
“We may have swung the pendulum too far in the interest of fun and lost sight of public safety and the fact that people are on edge,” she said.
In a city with vast amounts of open space—one of Herriman’s amenities, Pilgrim said—that open space also means potentially flammable situations. Unified Fire and city officials are aiming for preservation and prevention.
“One errant firework can wipe out a whole neighborhood, not to mention potentially bodily harm for somebody,” Martin said.