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

By Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

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 here.

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 the following safety tips:

  • Only adults should light or handle fireworks.
  • Supervise children at all times when fireworks are being used.
  • Store fireworks, matches, and lighters out of the reach of kids.
  • Use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface — away from buildings, vehicles, and vegetation.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, or buildings.
  • Never alter fireworks or make your own. Homemade explosives can be deadly!
  • Have a hose or bucket of water nearby to douse misfired and spent fireworks and to extinguish potential fires.

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

For more fireworks safety tips, visit www.tvfr.com.