DATE: June 25, 2015
CONTACT: Fire Marshal Scott Webster
(425) 433-2145 firstname.lastname@example.org
King County Fire Chiefs urge citizens to attend public display due to fire danger
Fire Chiefs from around King County are urging citizens to attend one of the many professional public fireworks displays during the Fourth of July weekend. Prolonged dry weather and below average spring rainfall have prompted premature grass and vegetation growth, creating more fuel nearly six weeks earlier than normal.
With July 4th falling on a weekend, along with the anticipated high temperatures and the current dry conditions, we expect an increase in the number of firework related incidents. Last year in King County fire agencies responded to 82 fire calls related to fireworks, in 2009 under similar dry weather conditions, fire agencies responded 302 times to fires related to fireworks. People can reduce the potential of fireworks related incidents by attending a public display in lieu of personal display/discharging.
All fireworks can cause injuries. Last year statewide, 158 reported injuries were caused by legal fireworks and 66 by illegal fireworks. Of the illegal fireworks, homemade devices accounted for 35% of the injuries. Most of these injuries were either burns or trauma to the head/face or arms/hands.
There are dozens of professional fireworks displays all over the Puget Sound region, including “Fireworks Show Over Lake Wilderness” beginning at 10:00pm on the 4th. Those who choose to display fireworks are encouraged to follow the three B’s – Be Prepared, Be Safe, and Be Responsible.
Citizens are reminded that the discharging of fireworks, is limited to July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. within the city limits of Maple Valley and from 9 a.m. to midnight in unincorporated King County.
What are the Three B’s for fireworks safety?
Be Prepared before lighting any firework:
- Know the fireworks law in your area; is there a fireworks ban or restriction when fireworks can be discharged?
- Purchase only legal fireworks, available at licensed stands.
- Ensure the safety of pets; the loud sounds make them nervous. More pets become lost on this day than any other when panicked—going through open windows, breaking tethers, and leaping fences.
- Have a bucket of water nearby in which to place all used fireworks.
- Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out stray sparks.
- Clear a level area away from things that can burn.
- Know the emergency number to call for your area, your address/location, and basic first aid.
- Teach your children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch on fire.
Be Safe when fireworks are being lit:
- Use only outdoors on a level, flat, hard surface.
- Only adults should light fireworks.
- Use eye protection; wear safety goggles.
- Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.
- Do not lean over fireworks when lighting them.
- Do not relight fireworks.
- Keep spectators at a safe distance (recommend 20 feet from fireworks).
- Keep away from anything that can burn.
- Follow the directions on the label carefully.
- Be considerate of your neighbors, family pets, and your environment.
- Obey the time restrictions for discharge.
Be Responsible after the fireworks are done:
- Clean up all debris when finished.
- Duds can be dangerous; if a fireworks item does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least fifteen minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water.
- Make sure unused fireworks, matches, and lighters are out of sight and reach of children.
- Before throwing away any used fireworks, make sure they are cold. Soaking in a bucket of water for at least 10 minutes before placing the fireworks in a plastic garbage bag will ensure they won’t catch anything on fire.