Here’s how to safely enjoy Fourth of July fireworks in Washington

Jul 2 2020, 11:48 am

Your Fourth of July may look a little different this year.

Being in modified phase two of Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan, all public gatherings in King County have been canceled — including all major Fourth of July Celebrations and fireworks displays.

Although events will not go on, those looking to set off their own fireworks can still do so as long as they follow Washington laws and prioritize safety.

“This is not a normal year,” said King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts in a news release. “We’re limited in terms of how we celebrate safely as a community. People who use fireworks at their homes and in their neighborhoods need to remember that it comes with risks. It’s essential to practice fireworks safety. Last year, fireworks resulted in two deaths and 36 injuries. We don’t want that to happen again.”

Fireworks are currently banned in Algona, Beaux Arts Village, Bellevue, Burien, Carnation, Clyde Hill, Des Moines, Federal Way, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Medina, Newcastle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, Tukwila, Woodinville, and Yarrow Point. A full list of restrictions on fireworks sales, usage, and bans is available on the Fire Protection Bureau’s website.

If your city allows fireworks, be sure that the ones you purchase don’t have a stick or fins and don’t go up or explode, as those kinds of fireworks are illegal in Washington.

Fireworks may only be discharged on July 4 from 9 am to midnight, and sales legally end at 11 pm on July 4.

If you’re choosing to buy and discharge fireworks, Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts is urging you to abide by the following safety tips:

  • Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.
  • Use eye protection.
  • Have a charged garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only — away from buildings, houses with wood exteriors, trees, and dry fields.
  • Avoid aerial fireworks.
  • Light one item at a time, move away quickly and have everyone keep a safe distance.
  • If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes before approaching it.
  • Clean up all debris and soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
  • Keep pets safe (Regional Animal Services of King County provides information about fireworks safety for pets).
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