Opinion

Let's keep things safe on the Fourth

Editor’s note: the following was provided by Enumclaw/King County Fire District 28.

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom. With this freedom comes a shared responsibility to ensure the safe use of fireworks. Please be aware, our community will be enforcing the fireworks law to make this Independence Day safer for all.

Every year fireworks injure people and cause vegetation and structure fires. Whenever you light a firework device, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid areas with dry grass or dry vegetation. Position fireworks so they will not land on or near a home or building. Be sure spectators are at a safe distance.

To celebrate safely remember to: be prepared, be safe and be responsible.

Be prepared: use only legal fireworks purchased at licensed stands. Store them out of children’s reach.

Be safe: only adults should light fireworks. Light one firework at a time and move away quickly. Use eye protection, never relight a dud and always keep water handy.

Be responsible: soak used fireworks in water and clean up firework debris.

Legal fireworks in Washington state: cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, ground spinners, reloadable mortars (1.75 inches in diameter); helicopters; Roman candles; mine/shells (2.5 inches inside diameter); aerial spinners; parachutes; sparklers; novelties.

Illegal fireworks in Washington state: firecrackers/chasers; bottle rockets; missiles and rockets; altered fireworks; homemade devices; M-80s, M-100s and larger; cherry bombs; tennis ball bombs; pipe bombs.

Persons using fireworks must remember that there may be legal consequences to injuries or fires caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks. Consequences range from being charged with malicious mischief to assault or a gross misdemeanor.

A gross misdemeanor can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in prison.

In the city of Enumclaw the legal discharge dates are from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 4. Be sure to discharge all fireworks devices so there are no leftovers. The fine for possession or discharge of fireworks  outside legal dates is $1,000 and/or one year in prison.

Let us work together to keep our community safe during this Independence Day celebration.

 

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