The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and Sheriff Bill Benedict would like to remind citizens about fireworks and their use. Legal fireworks in Washington are known as “consumer fireworks.” Legal consumer fireworks do not include things like firecrackers, bottle rockets and missiles.
These illegal fireworks cause traumatic injuries and are prone to starting fires. Items like M-80s and larger, cherry bombs,and tennis ball bombs are not fireworks.
These “fireworks” are actually explosives and are powerful enough to cause life-altering injuries or even death. There are over 1,000 emergencies every year in Washington contributed to fireworks.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal, on the Washington State Patrol webpage, has extensive information on how to determine what legal fireworks are and what are not, including photos to help you make sure (www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm#kit).
This year, hours for shooting off fireworks in the county areas are:
• June 28, noon-11 p.m.
• June 29-July 3, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
• July 4, 9 a.m.-midnight
• July 5, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
When using fireworks, remember the three B’s:
• Be prepared before you light fireworks by using legal fireworks, keeping them out of children’s reach, keeping pets inside and calm, and keeping a hose or bucket of water handy just in case.
• Be safe by using fireworks only outside, don’t hold them in your hand, protect your eyes, light one at a time and do not re-light duds.
• Be responsible when you’re done by soaking spent fireworks in water, clean up after yourself and keep matches and lighters away from children.
Deputies will be enforcing fireworks laws throughout Clallam County over the holiday weekend. Deputies typically field many complaints and make every effort to respond to them. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will be on patrol at Lake Sutherland on the Fourth, enforcing all laws including boating laws, under-aged drinking and fireworks violations.
Citizens are reminded that possession of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor crime. And, if you are using fireworks that cause damage to the property of another, you may be both civilly and criminally liable for any damages that may be incurred.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office wants you to have a safe, sane and enjoyable holiday. Please drink responsibly and refrain from the use and consequences of illegal fireworks.