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Enumclaw firefighters issue warning: More fires on the Fourth

Fireworks - Courtesy photo
Fireworks
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.

IAFF Local 3931 advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.

“Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” said IAFF Local 3931 President John Bloomer.

Fireworks injured 9,600 people in the United States in 2011, according to NFPA. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.

Children are especially at risk on July 4. In 2011, 26 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were younger than 15, the NFPA reports.

Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

“All fireworks sold at the stands within the city limits of Enumclaw are legal within Washington state. Many of the fireworks that are sold on tribal lands are illegal to possess in Washington state. Legal or not, if you decide to ignore these words of caution and set off your own fireworks display, precautions need to be taken, and taken seriously,” Local 3931 member Randy Fehr said. “While fun, exciting and pretty fireworks can be very, very dangerous.”

Firefighters ask that citizens only call 911 for potentially life-threatening situations so they are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.

• For more information about fireworks safety, visit http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

• For more information about fireworks regulations in King County, visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/FireMarshal/fireworks.aspx.

• For more information on the city of Enumclaw’s fireworks regulations, visit http://www.codepublishing.com/WA/Enumclaw/html/Enumclaw09/Enumclaw0928.html#9.28.020

• To check the legality of fireworks in Washington State, visit http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/docs/fireworks/device.pdf.

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