LAYTON -- Firefighters and police officers from close to 50 Utah agencies now know what the newly legal fireworks look like up close, as well as what those fireworks can do in the air.
Layton's fire department hosted a demonstration Monday morning at its station at 530 N. 2200 West.
Even though the fireworks were discharged with the sun shining, those attending the display got to see exactly what they will be facing starting this weekend.
"People will be surprised how junky their neighborhoods will get after firing these things," said Utah State Fire Marshal Brent Halladay.
The aerial fireworks -- known as "multiple tube," "repeater" and "cake" -- look like miniature professional displays and can travel as high as 150 feet in the air. They also leave plenty of burnt cardboard and paper blowing in the wind before landing on the ground.
The spectators also got to hear the thumping and
high-pitched sounds from the aerial fireworks, which prompted one police officer to say to another, "We'll get 40 phone calls about the noise before that one is even finished."
Joee Witter, regional manager for Phantom Fireworks, spoke to the group about the aerial fireworks.
He said that in recent years only about 10 percent of Utahns who discharged fireworks bought these types of fireworks out of state and brought them back into Utah. Now, that other 90 percent will have access to the fireworks.
Plus, officials cannot confiscate the fireworks because they are now legal.
"This is a product that they have to deal with on a larger scale than before," Witter said.
Several city officials have set restrictions in parts or all of their cities prohibiting some or all fireworks.
All fireworks are still prohibited in all national parks and national forest areas.
There is a $150 fine for anyone possessing fireworks in those areas, and if someone is caught discharging fireworks there they will face a mandatory appearance in federal court.
There are several types of fireworks which are still illegal in Utah.
Those include firecrackers, M-80s, bottle rockets, single shot tubes, reloadable mortars and cherry bombs.
Witter said the recent law passed by Utah legislators allowing the sale, possession and discharge of these fireworks is a good evolution of firework laws, and everyone needs to understand how to use the products.
"One injury with any kind of firework is one too many," Witter said.
Witter said even fireworks thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can be dangerous and should be used with caution.
"Our biggest concern is not the selling of the fireworks, but what happens after people buy them," Halladay said. "The concern is that people need to have proper setback."
Halladay said people need to be at least 30 feet back from the fireworks before they are discharged.
People also need to be aware of the surroundings when they use fireworks.
"Obviously, if it goes up 150 feet in the air and you have a tree right in front of you, you have a problem," Halladay said.
No one younger than 16 is allowed to discharge the aerial fireworks.
Halladay said he has seen between 500 and 600 aerial fireworks discharged and only one malfunction.
The malfunctioning firework shot off sideways and traveled about 40 feet, causing a few people to jump out of its way.
"If they are set off correctly, they will go straight up and straight down," Halladay said.