OLYMPIA -Thurston County firefighters and paramedics remind people that fireworks safety is the key to having a Fourth of July holiday to remember instead of a tragic accident you’d rather forget.
Thurston County Director of Emergency Services Steve Romines said the arrival of the Independence Day holiday also brings the unfortunate arrival of fireworks-related injuries. In 2010, Thurston County 9-1-1 Dispatch logged hundreds of fireworks related calls, some of them regarding serious injuries.
"The safest bet by far is to leave it to the pros and enjoy one of the licensed public fireworks displays," Romines said. "But if you're going to light your own fireworks, following a few basic safety rules will save you from injury, and could even save your life."
As a reminder, the sale of fireworks in unincorporated Thurston County is legal from June 28 through noon on July 5. It is legal to discharge fireworks only from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and 4.
Romines says the use of fireworks can be safer if the following precautions are observed:
- Use only "safe and sane" fireworks. (In Washington state that means no bottle rockets, no firecrackers, no cherry bombs and no missiles.)
- Do not hold or throw fireworks after they are lit and do not relight unexploded fireworks.
- Have an adult present at all times when fireworks are being set off, and young children should never light fireworks.
- Be extra careful about the area where fireworks are lit; the heat from fireworks can easily ignite grass, wood and many other flammable materials.
- Keep a water source handy to deal with potential fires and douse all fireworks to make sure they are out.
Again, in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County, it is legal to sell fireworks from June 28 through noon on July 5. It is legal to discharge fireworks ONLY from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and 4.