Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue: Got Fireworks? Keep it Legal. Keep it safe!

By Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

sparklers in hands, close-up view, red background

Oregon law bans fireworks that fly, explode, or travel on the ground more than six feet — this includes bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, and M80s.

To be legal, purchase all fireworks at a licensed Oregon fireworks stand. Fireworks purchased by mail order or in the state of Washington or at Native American reservations may be illegal in our state.

Under Oregon law, officials can seize illegal fireworks, and you can be fined up to $500 per violation and/or arrested. You can be held civilly liable for damages resulting from improper use of any fireworks — legal or illegal.

Oregon law also makes parents liable for damage caused by their children and allows fire departments to charge for the cost of suppressing fires caused by fireworks. Additionally, the use of illegal fireworks constitutes criminal activity, and your insurance policy may not cover you if you engage in a criminal act that results in damage.

Even legal fireworks are dangerous and have caused injuries and burns to users, especially unsupervised children. Also, during dry summer conditions, an errant firework can ignite vegetation, vehicles, and even your roof.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue advises you to celebrate safely this year by following these safety tips:

  • Only adults should light or handle fireworks.
  • Supervise children and teens at all times when fireworks are being used.
  • Store fireworks, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Always read and follow label instructions.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface — far away from buildings, vehicles, and shrubs.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars, or buildings.
  • Never alter fireworks or make your own. Homemade explosives can be deadly!
  • Never try to re-light a “dud.”
  • Have a hose or bucket of water nearby to douse misfired and spent fireworks and to extinguish potential fires.
  • Once you ensure spent fireworks are extinguished in water, dispose of them in metal containers.
  • Call 911 to report a fire, injury, or other life-safety threat.

The best and safest plan is to attend a professional fireworks display and eliminate the risk altogether.

For safety tips, visit www.tvfr.com.