“Keep it legal, keep it safe:” Oregon Fire Marshal warns against dangers of fireworks

Tri-Cities, Oregon
Image credit: Gesa Carousel of Dreams , Facebook

SALEM, Ore. — It’s officially summertime in the U.S., and while that brings lots of joy across the western states, it also means wildfire danger is rapidly increasing. Few activities accelerate that danger like fireworks do, leading the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to issue a statement on public safety.

Retail fireworks season in Oregon begins on June 23 and runs through July 6. While the purchase and use of fireworks are legal, it’s important to understand the protocols surrounding their use.

“We ask that those using fireworks be responsible when using them,” Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires started because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and keep it safe as people celebrate the holiday.”

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Oregon state law says that you can only legally purchase consumer fireworks from permittee retailers and stands. Once in your possession, you have to be mindful of where fireworks are allowed to be used. It’s crucial that you do not bring fireworks to state or national parks, beaches, forests, or campgrounds.

OSFM highlighted ‘the four Bs of safe fireworks use,’ which is a crucial set of guidelines to keep participants safe:

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation.
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait for 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

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