Thurston County firefighters and paramedics remind people that fireworks safety is the key to having a 4th of July to remember instead of a tragic accident you'd rather forget.
Thurston County Director of Emergency Services Steve Romines said the arrival of Independence Day also brings the unfortunate arrival of fireworks-related injuries. Each year, Thurston County 9-1-1 Dispatch logs 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."
The sale of fireworks in unincorporated Thurston County is legal at inspected and approved stands from noon on Friday, June 28 until 9:00 p.m. on July 4. Daily sales before the 4th are from 9:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is legal to discharge fireworks only from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on July 3 and 4. The sale and discharge of fireworks is not allowed in the cities of Olympia or Lacey.
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 unincorporated Thurston County, it's legal to sell fireworks from noon, June 28 through 9:00 p.m. on July 4. It's legal to discharge fireworks ONLY from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and 4. -30-