Monday, October 3, 2022

Fire Marshal says ‘Keep it safe, keep it legal’ with fireworks

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Oregon State Fire Marshal

The State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordination Group, natural resource agencies, and Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers encourage Oregonians to “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe” when using fireworks.

Fireworks retail sales season opens Saturday, June 23 and runs through Friday, July 6. The State Fire Marshal and its partners want everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use in Oregon without a permit, where they are permitted to be used, and the important safety steps to take when using fireworks.

“I want to remind all Oregonians that consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. Fire risk in Oregon is approaching extreme conditions and there is no room for error in fireworks safety.”

July 4th holiday public land visitors are advised to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forestland, Oregon state parks, and beaches. “It’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Support your local community by enjoying fireworks at sponsored events. If you choose to use fireworks at home, make sure they stay on the pavement and always keep a bucket of water nearby for safety and to extinguish spent fireworks.”

Oregon law prohibits possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground, without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon, without a permit.

There were 318 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2017, resulting in eight injuries and more than $861,000 in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2013 through 2017, there were 1,355 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 34 injuries, and more than $3 million in property damage.

Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

“All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully,” adds Walker. And we encourage you to be aware and considerate of neighbors and their pets, before deciding on when and where you choose to light fireworks.”

The State Fire Marshal encourages everyone to use the four B’s of safe fireworks use:

  • Be Prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be Safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be Aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

The four B’s of fireworks safety brochure is available here:

http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Licensing_permits/fireworks/4BesFireworks.pdf.

Tips in Spanish are also available at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Licensing_permits/fireworks/Fireworks_4Bs_Spanish.pdf

Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin Werner is publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for Lincoln City, Oregon. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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