With the Fourth of July right around the corner, we want everyone to celebrate safely and responsibly!
The discharging of fireworks is banned in many parts of the state. For those who can (and do) celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, our State Fire Marshal’s Office wanted to share some safety tips, information, and answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Every year in Washington, fireworks cause injuries and fires. Don’t let your family become part of the statistics. In 2021, fireworks caused over 97 fires in Washington state, and over 40 people received some type of traumatic injury, including amputations and avulsions.
If you want to leave fireworks to the professionals, many cities and counties put on free public firework displays. KING 5 recently shared the top 10 events and firework shows across the state.
Our State Fire Marshal’s Office also has free activity books for children; download a copy here, and another here!
Firework safety tips:
- Purchase Washington legal consumer fireworks from a licensed and locally permitted retail stand.
- Only use fireworks outdoors and away from buildings on a flat, level, fireproof surface free from debris.
- Read and follow all safety labels and instructions.
- Have a water supply and water bucket available at all times.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a firework.
- Never throw fireworks or light fireworks in your hands.
- Never pick up or try to re-ignite a firework that fails to light.
- Never carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them from a container.
- Always have adults light fireworks. Keep all fireworks, including matches and lighters, away from children.
- Allow discharged fireworks to sit for at least 20 minutes before submerging them fully in water for at least 10 minutes. Dispose of drained products in a plastic bag.
- Keep all pets indoors and protected from the sights and sounds of the holiday.
And always remember to follow the three B’s of fireworks safety:
- Be prepared – Have water nearby and put pets indoors.
- Be safe – Only adults should light fireworks.
- Be responsible – Clean up fireworks debris.
Are my fireworks legal?
Consumers should check with their local jurisdictions, such as the area Fire Marshal’s Office, local government (local ordinances and municipal codes), or local law enforcement. Many cities, law enforcement agencies, and fire departments will post information regarding firework legality on their social media accounts.
Not all fireworks are legal for use within Washington State. State licensed retail fireworks stands must be permitted by the local city or county jurisdiction where they are being sold. Consumer fireworks sales begin on June 28th and end on July 5th; click here for a list of sales periods and discharge periods.
Items such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, and missiles are illegal to sell, possess, and/or discharge within the state. However, these items are federally legal and are available for sale or discharge on some designated tribal lands.
State and federal laws prohibit items such as M-80s, M-100s, altered fireworks, and homemade devices, as these devices are high powered and can cause devastating injuries.
Never purchase fireworks when:
- They are not being sold at a licensed and permitted stand.
- The fireworks are missing safety warnings, instructions, or a description of the effects.
- The item appears to be wrapped in solid color paper with no markings.
- It looks homemade, is wrapped in electrical tape, or the contents are exposed.
- It appears to have an abnormal fuse.
If you come across a device you suspect may be illegal or unsafe, contact the local law enforcement agency in your area or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
When to call 911 about fireworks:
We wish you a safe and fun Independence Day! And as always, please don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.