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If the spread of the novel coronavirus has you stuck at home for the Fourth of July this year, you may be thinking of putting on your own lights display.

Before you do, know that some fireworks are illegal to use in Arizona, even on Independence Day.

In general, the kinds that are illegal are those that are most likely to annoy your neighbor — the ones that shoot up in the air and make loud noises. Those are considered unsafe for at-home use.

If you're caught setting them off in metro Phoenix, you might face a hefty penalty, depending on what city you're in.

Glendale's elected officials are planning to increase fines to be the highest in the Valley.

The minimum fine for a violation in Glendale right now is $275, but the council is asking the courts to issue citations of at least $1,500 for the first offense.

Glendale council members say they want to send a message that the illegal use of fireworks won't be tolerated. They say the increase is intended as more of an education campaign than anything else.

HERE'S YOUR GUIDEFourth of July 2020 fireworks in metro Phoenix

That's because, in Arizona, police must actually witness the use of the illegal fireworks to issue a citation. That makes it hard to catch offenders, according to Glendale interim Deputy City Manager Rick St. John.

Last year, for example, Glendale police responded to 735 calls for service related to the illegal use of fireworks, but only wrote up one offense report.

Here's more about what type of fireworks are illegal, and the penalties for using them in each city.

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What types of fireworks are legal in Arizona?

The following types of fireworks are legal to use year-round in Arizona: sparklers, smoker devices, and novelty fireworks such as snakes, party poppers and snappers.

Other types of fireworks are allowed seasonally, for holidays such as New Year's and the Fourth of July, from June 24 to July 6 and Dec. 24 to Jan 3. This includes: Ground spinners, sparkling wheel devices and fountain-style fireworks.

Any type of firework that explodes or detonates in the air is illegal to use year-round. Illegal fireworks include the following: sky or bottle rockets, firecrackers and aerial fireworks.

The city of Phoenix published a chart to make it easier to tell what types are legal in the state.

What is the penalty for setting off illegal fireworks in Arizona?

Here are the penalties for illegal use of fireworks in the largest metro Phoenix cities:

  • Phoenix: $1,000.
  • Mesa: First offense $75; second offense $150; third offense $500; each subsequent offense $750.
  • Chandler: $1,000.
  • Glendale: Minimum fine of $275; Council recently gave direction to impose a much larger fine of $1,500 on first offense; $2,000 on second offense.
  • Scottsdale: Minimum fine of $275.
  • Gilbert: $1,000.
  • Tempe: $1,000.
  • Peoria: $750.
  • Surprise: No less than $100, no more than $2,500.
  • Avondale: $1,000.

Reach the reporter at jen.fifield@azcentral.com or at 602-444-8763. Follow her on Twitter @JenAFifield

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