‘Keep it legal, keep it safe’: Oregonians urged to use fireworks responsibly

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Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:26 AM PDT
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SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) - The Office of State Fire Marshal is asking Oregonians to keep fireworks use legal and safe this year ahead of the 4th of July holiday.

The 2022 firework retail sales season in Oregon begins June 23 and runs through July 6. To reduce the risk of starting a wildfire, some local governments in the state have put in place regulations, or bans, on the sale or use of fireworks.

“We ask that those using fireworks be responsible when using them,” Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires started because of improper use or use of illegal fireworks. Our message is to keep it legal and keep it safe as people celebrate the holiday.”

Back in March, the city of Portland banned the sale and use of fireworks within the city limits. Portland Fire & Rescue sent out a reminder to not use any fireworks, aerial luminary devices or pyrotechnics.

PF&R is encouraging Portlanders to view the city’s fireworks display on the waterfront.

OSFM is asking everyone who purchases legal fireworks to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use:

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation.
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait for 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit. OSFM said fireworks, commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers, are illegal in the state without a permit.

Those found with illegal fireworks may be subject to a fine of up to $2,500.

OSFM said people who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.