FIREWORKS – KEEP IT LEGAL, KEEP IT SAFE
The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordination Group, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe” when using fireworks. The 2018 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opens Saturday, June 23 and runs through Friday, July 6. The OSFM and their 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 OSFM 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:
Tips in Spanish are also available at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/docs/Licensing_permits/fireworks/Fireworks_4Bs_Spanish.pdf