Washington's fire marshal urges fireworks safety

Last year, there were 354 fireworks-related injuries and fires reported to the State Fire Marshal’s Office by fire departments and hospitals.

Of the 354 reports received, there were 128 fires and 226 injuries. The majority of these incidents occur July 4 — one of the few days fireworks are legal in many cities and counties in Washington. Most incidents were caused by males between 8 and 21 years of age.

The incidents of greatest concern are seven residential fires totaling $880,500 in loss. One was caused by an illegal device, three were caused by legal fireworks and three were caused by an unknown type of firework device.

According to a news release by the marshal’s office, 26 fires and 64 injuries were caused by devices which are illegal to own or possess in Washington.

Seven sparkler bomb incidents that included five fires/explosions and two causing facial, torso and hand injuries. These devices are considered improvised explosive devices which are illegal to manufacture and possess.

Supervision of children 14 and younger is critical in reducing emergency responses to fireworks incidents. The fire marshal urges parents to speak with their children about fireworks and safety; set family boundaries, only adults should light fireworks, store fireworks in a secure location out of the reach and sight of curious children.

The fire marshal’s office suggests people remember the three B’s of fireworks safety: Be prepared — have water nearby and put pets indoors; be safe — only adults should light fireworks; and be responsible — clean up fireworks debris.

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