Fireworks Information

2016 Fireworks Information

Larita Humble

From the Office of the State Fire Marshal – the dates and times common fireworks may be legally sold or discharged in areas with no ban or restrictions are:

 

June 28th………………………Between 12:00 noon & 11:00 PM

June 29th thru July 3rd…….Between 9:00 AM & 11:00 PM

July 4th…………………………Between 9 AM & 12:00 Midnight

July 5th…………………………………Between 9 AM & 11:00 PM

Dec. 31st…………………………….Between 6:00 PM & 1:00 AM

 

Fireworks Related Injuries and Fires

 

Washington State details from 2014:

Fireworks related injuries were up 27% from 2013, with 277 injuries reported.

There were 2 fireworks related fatalities; one incident involving a consumer firework.

Injury data shows that males, 36 years and older are most often injured by fireworks.

There were 155 fireworks related fires reported, resulting in $320,240 in property loss.

 

Explanation of Legal and Illegal Fireworks

 

RCW 70.77.136 “Consumer fireworks” means any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the US consumer product safety commission, as set forth in 16 C.F.R. Parts 1500 and 1507 and including some small devices designed to produce audible effects, such as whistling devices, ground devices containing 50 mg or less of explosive materials, and aerial devices containing 130 mg or less of explosive materials and classified as fireworks UN0336 by the US department of transportation at 49 C.F.R. Sec. 172.101 as of June 13, 2002, and not including fused set pieces containing components which together exceed 50 mg of salute powder.

 

              Fireworks Legal on Tribal Land

 

Firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles and rockets are legal to possess and discharge on tribal lands. These items are illegal in Washington State and become illegal fireworks when possessed off tribal lands.

Illegal Explosive Devices

 

M-80’s and larger, dynamite and any improvised, homemade or altered explosive devices such as tennis balls or cherry bombs are illegal explosive devices. Persons in possession or using illegal explosives devices can and should be charged with a felony. M80’s, M100’s, M1000’s are not fireworks; they are illegal explosive devices. They can cause amputations or other severe injuries and possessing them has legal consequences.

 

What is an Illegal Explosive Device?

 

Illegal explosive devices are often wrongly referred to as fireworks because they look like large firecrackers, but they can have as much explosive power as a ¼ stick of dynamite.

What kinds of fireworks are illegal in our state?

Firecrackers are ¼ “x 1 ½” or less and contain less than .13 grams of powder.

Bottle rockets are ¼” x 1 ½”, attached to a 12” stick, and their color may vary.

Skyrockets are ½’ inside diameter, attached to a stick for guidance, and contain up to 20 grams of powder. These fireworks are illegal, except on tribal lands, and cause 90% of all fireworks related fires in Washington State.

 

Fireworks, Animals and Pollution

 

Firework displays and celebrations bring confusion, anxiety and fear into the lives of animals, causing many terrorized animals to run away from their homes in an effort to escape the frightening and traumatizing detonations.

Firework explosions can produce a blind panic in animals that can lead to serious injury, deep-rooted, debilitating fears, or even death. The ears of most animals are considerably more sensitive than the human ear, Fireworks produce light, noise and air pollution. The explosion of fireworks also releases poisonous chemicals and particle-laden smoke, contaminating our natural environment.

 

Violation/911 calls regarding Illegal Fireworks

 

When contacted and asked the question, The Skagit County Sheriff’s office states that currently they respond to virtually every call. The number of deputies has decreased and they are forced to prioritize calls based on their severity. A report of illegal discharge of fireworks would be a lower priority call. If the report was during a burn ban, it would receive a much higher priority. The Sheriff’s office generally issues a verbal warning for a first offense; however subsequent offenses or if during a burn ban could result in a citation being issued. The offense is a criminal violation with a bail of $250.00 or violations of over one pound of explosives is a $500.00 bail. The actual penalty could theoretically include jail time as set by the judge.

 

 

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