Friday, June 24, 2011

Oregon Fireworks - keep it legal and keep it safe

The Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Oregon fire service, natural resource agencies, Oregon fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to keep it legal and keep it safe when using fireworks. The 2011 Oregon fireworks sales season opens today, June 23 and runs through July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know what are legal fireworks in Oregon, where they are permitted, and the important steps everyone can take for fireworks safety.

"Legal fireworks may be purchased only from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands," advises Interim State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "And regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. For example, fireworks are prohibited on all Oregon beaches, in parks, and campgrounds."

Oregon law bans possession, use or sale of fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are ILLEGAL in Oregon.

Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $500 per violation. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

There were 117 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2010, resulting in more than $1.6 million in property damage. Over the past five years from 2006 through 2010 there were 1,057 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 62 civilian injuries, and more than $4.7 million in property damage.

"All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only legal fireworks and use them carefully," adds Walker.

The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four Bs of safe fireworks use:
*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.
*Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak in a bucket of water before disposal.
*Be Aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

The four B's of fireworks safety brochure is available here:

Tips in Spanish are also available at:

More fireworks information is available at: