Fireworks Safety

Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that more fires are reported on that day than on any other day of the year in the United States? Nearly half of these fires are caused by fireworks. The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks, with just a few simple safety tips.

Each year in the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks – the things of which happy memories are made. But sadly, Independence Day also includes tragic events and injuries resulting from illegal fireworks use and is both traumatizing and harmful to children, animals, and a growing number of war veterans who deserve our loyalty the most.

Completely aside from the danger (both legal and personal) of exploding illegal fireworks, there’s a huge risk of fire and property damage.

Legal fireworks may be purchased only from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands. Oregon law forbids possession, use or sale of fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches in the air. Bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are ILLEGAL in Oregon.

Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks fining offenders up to $500 per violation including possession of illegal fireworks and endangering life and property. Offenders may also be arrested. Any fireworks causing damage or misuse of fireworks carries a liability for the offender, who may be required to pay for resulting fire or other damage. Parents are liable for fireworks-caused damage by their children. Costs may include assessed fines as well as the cost of suppressing fireworks-caused fires.

Portland Fire & Rescue and partner agencies ask you to consider the negative effects of illegal fireworks on our community and encourages you to participate in one of the numerous professional fireworks displays in our region, which are put on for all citizens to enjoy in a safe and legal manner.

Steps for Safer Use Of Fireworks

  • PREPAREDNESS Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • CHILDREN & PETS STAY CLEAR Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • RESPONSIBILITY Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then
    soak in a bucket of water before disposal.

Please be safe and respect your neighbors this 4th of July!

For more information visit the Fireworks page on the Portland Fire & Rescue web site.

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