LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It wouldn't be the 4th of July without fireworks lighting up the sky! Today is the first day you can legally buy fireworks in Clark County.
If you're going to light your own fireworks this year, there are three main reasons why you should buy from a permitted booth: they're safer because they're inspected by the Clark County fire officials, the money they raise benefits nonprofit organizations, and they have fireworks in stock, which may not be the case everywhere because of a firework shortage.
"The entire fireworks industry is suffering from a shortage this year due to our supply chain challenges," said James Fuller, a safety expert with TNT Fireworks. "We are expecting a banner year for fireworks this year. But because of COVID, we've had some manufacturing delays and shortages. Secondarily, because we had such demand coming out of the United States for consumer products, we saw some shipping containers becoming scarce."
At the Phantom Fireworks booth on Maryland Parkway and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, quantity isn't an issue, and neither is quality after passing today's fireworks inspection.
"The fireworks that are illegal will shoot up into the air, they will explode, or they'll twirl on the ground. They're uncontrollable. Those are the fireworks that generally have fallout ranges, and if you're within that fallout range, you could easily catch something on fire," said Nick Giolito, a Fire Inspector with Clark County's Department of Building & Fire Prevention.
The fire risk associated with fireworks is a big concern for firefighters, especially because we're already dealing with drought and historic heat.
"There absolutely is more of a fire risk this year and with this climate, there's very low humidity, so there's a very high chance for static electricity as well," said Giolito.
That's why fire officials are urging you to buy from one of the more than 100 permitted booths in Clark County. Not only are they the only legal vendors, but they benefit local nonprofit organizations like the Liberty High School Marching Band.
"All of that money goes to help students participate in the arts, like music and color guard. It also goes to help our marching band, which we compete rigorously in the fall. Band is not cheap. It's very expensive. And so, having the opportunity to work with Phantom to sell their product really helps our program. So, we're very gracious for that," said Donald Malpass, Director of Bands at Liberty High School.
Monday is the first-day fireworks are on sale in Clark County, so local stands are fully stocked. But, with the demand at an all-time high, the shortage could become an issue closer to the 4th of July. The best advice experts have for customers is to buy your supply early.