Fireworks safety tips

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State fire officials are reminding Oregonians to “Keep it legal and keep it safe” when it comes to fireworks during the coming weeks.

The fireworks season in the Beaver State opened June 23 and will continue through July 6.

“People often forget that legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” said State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. For example, fireworks are prohibited on all Oregon beaches, in parks, and campgrounds.”

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are all illegal in Oregon.

Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $500 per violation. 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 legal fireworks and use them carefully,” added Wallace. “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.

There were 161 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2012, resulting in more than 36 injuries and more than $230,000 in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2008 through 2012, there were 824 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in 111 civilian injuries, and more than $3.6 million in property damage.

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