Keep fireworks safe, legal when season opens
The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon Fire Service, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to "Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe" when using fireworks.
The 2019 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opens June 23 and runs through July 6.
"To help inform Oregonians about the safe and legal use of fireworks in Oregon before legal fireworks sales begin, our office has prepared fireworks safety and education materials," said Mark Johnston, assistant chief deputy fire marshal. "The downloadable items will help Oregonians understand what 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. We want Oregonians to share this information with their friends, families, and neighbors."
The OSFM will also reach out to its fire service and other partners to share the information on their social media sites. OSFM's fireworks materials can be found on its website at www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/Pages/Fireworks.aspx#education.
The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four BEs 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 OSFM website also features questions and answers about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, permits for the retail sale of fireworks, and state rules for their use and enforcement activities.
Remember, 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.
Despite their regulated sale and use, fireworks in Oregon represent a public safety and health threat every year. For the last reported five years through 2018, there were 1,264 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon, resulting in more than $3.5 million in property damage. During that same period, fires resulting from fireworks resulted one death and 26 injuries.