Spokane Fire Department Stresses Importance of Following Fireworks Ban

AC Brian Schaeffer #509-625-7002

Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 10:22 a.m.

With extreme fire conditions and the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, the Spokane Fire Department wants to remind residents and visitors the selling and use of all amateur fireworks is illegal in the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Millwood and Liberty Lake as well as throughout the unincorporated areas of Spokane County.

Illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in fines up to $1,000 for each violation in addition to fines and court costs. If an individual starts a fire, they are also liable for restitution of damaged property and for the recovery of Fire Department response costs.

All fireworks are prohibited including, but not limited to non-detonating military devices such as large flares, certain propellants, specialty fireworks and larger devices used in public displays, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, sparklers, bottle rockets and similar materials that contain any explosive or combustible compound.

This year marks the 24th year in which all consumer fireworks are illegal. Based on the number of fireworks-caused fires between 1983 and 1992, the fireworks ban has prevented an estimated 2200 fires. In the ten years prior to the fireworks ordinance in 1993, Spokane firefighters responded to an average of 104 fireworks-caused fires just in the City of Spokane during the 9-day period between June 28 and July 6. During the past 24 years of the ban, the average number of fireworks-caused fires has dramatically dropped to five. Prior to the ban, there were so many fireworks-caused fires around July 4 that some emergency medical calls to 9-1-1 had to be stacked until first responders could be dispatched.

In addition to the number of fires and injuries caused by amateur fireworks each year throughout the United States, there is a very negative impact from fireworks noise on veterans suffering from PTSD, on neighbors, and on pets.

Violations of the fireworks ban can be reported to Crime Check at 456.2233.

The Spokane Fire Department would like to wish the community a happy Independence Day and encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday safely without using individual fireworks. Remember, everyone is invited to the community celebration on the evening of July 4th at the Riverfront Park with a fireworks display provided by licensed pyrotechnicians.