Consumer fireworks have been illegal for more than 25 years
Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 3:33 p.m.
With the Fourth of July holiday just a few days away, the Spokane Fire Department reminds everyone that the sale and use of all amateur (consumer) fireworks is illegal in the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Millwood, Liberty Lake and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County.
In addition to fines and court costs, illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in infractions of $536 for each violation. Individuals who start a fire 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, bottle rockets and similar materials that contain any explosive or combustible compound. Most people think that sparklers are innocent enough and allow young children to hold them, but sparklers can be very dangerous. Sparklers burn at 1200 degrees or hotter and are also illegal.
This year marks the 27th 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 2,200 fires. In the 10 years prior to the fireworks ordinance in 1993, firefighters responded to an average of 104 fireworks-caused fires just in the City of Spokane during the nine-day period between June 28 and July 6. During the past 26 years of the ban, the average number of fireworks-caused fires has dramatically dropped to five or fewer. Prior to the ban, there were so many fireworks-caused fires around the Fourth of July 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 consumer fireworks each year, fireworks can have a negative impact on neighbors, pets and veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Violations of the fireworks ban should be reported to Crime Check at 509.456.2233.
The Spokane Fire Department would like to wish the community a Happy Independence Day and encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday safely by leaving fireworks up to the professionals. Everyone is invited to the community celebration on July 4th at Riverfront Park, starting at noon and continuing until the 10 p.m. fireworks display provided by licensed pyrotechnicians.