Keep it legal, keep it safe on the 4th

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The Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, natural resource agencies, Oregon fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to keep itl legal and keep it safe when using fireworks. The 2014 Oregon fireworks sales season opened this week and runs through Sunday, July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know what fireworks are legal in Oregon, where they are permitted, and the important steps to take for fireworks safety.

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

July 4th holiday forest visitors are advised to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forestland, and most other public lands. “Fireworks compound the threat to already dry forests,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Enjoy fireworks where they belong: on the pavement- away from houses, vehicles, and flammable vegetation.”

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 illegal in Oregon.

Over the past five years, from 2009 through 2013, there were 905 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 150 civilian injuries, and more than $4.4 million in property damage.

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,” adds Walker. 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.

(Courtesy of Oregon State Fire Marshal)

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