SFD reminds community that fireworks are Illegal

Justin de Ruyter, PIO

Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 2:38 p.m.

Injuries caused by fireworks in the Spokane metro area are drastically lower than the national average. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Reported fireworks injuries increased by 56 percent in 2020. Over the last thirty years, Spokane has remained stable, with less than 5 injuries treated at area medical centers—a drop from 29 injuries 32 years ago.

So, why the discrepancy?
2024 marks the 32nd year of the fireworks ban in our region. Before the ban, firefighters responded to an average of 104 fireworks-caused fires in the nine days between June 28 and July 6. Since then, the average number of fireworks-caused fires has dramatically dropped to five. There were so many fireworks-caused fires around the Fourth of July before the ban that some emergency medical calls to 9-1-1 had to be stacked until first responders were available to be dispatched.

Regional Fire Departments remind everyone that the sale and use of all amateur (consumer) fireworks are illegal in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Millwood, Liberty Lake, and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County.

Illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in infractions of $536 for each violation, in addition to fines and court costs. Individuals who start a fire can also be 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. If you light it, it’s illegal.

The Stats
Based on the number of fireworks-caused fires between 1983 and 1992, the fireworks ban has prevented at least 2,700 fires.

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 people living with posttraumatic stress disorder or sensory input conditions.

Firework patrols will be out on July 4th in some areas. Violations of the fireworks ban should be reported to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Area Fire Departments would like to wish the community a Happy Independence Day. We encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday safely by observing one of the area fireworks displays provided by licensed pyrotechnicians.

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