Redmond Fireworks Safety Reminder

The City of Redmond, Redmond Fire & Rescue & Redmond Police Department officials are concerned about potential fireworks-related fires and personal injuries as the Fourth of July draws near.

One of the most common fireworks-related fires that RF&R crews respond to involves “spent” fireworks placed in a bucket or grocery sack that rekindle and spread to fences, decks, and even homes.

The best and safest plan is to attend a professional fireworks display and eliminate the risk altogether.  Instead of lighting your own legal fireworks, attend the professional show at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

Residents can drop off unwanted fireworks (illegal or legal) at any RF&R fire station for disposal.

If you’re intent is to use fireworks, keep it legal.

Oregon law bans fireworks that fly, explode, or move across the ground more than six feet or up in the air more than 12 inches. This includes popular items like bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, and M80s.

Residents should 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 in our state.

Many firework-related fires are caused by careless use or improper disposal of legal fireworks. Even legal fireworks are dangerous and have caused injuries and burns to users, especially unsupervised children. This includes sparklers. They can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees; wood burns at 575 degrees, while glass melts at 900 degrees (National Fire Protection Association).

RF&R advises you to celebrate safely this year by following these safety tips:
• Only adults should light or handle fireworks. Supervise children at all times.
• Store fireworks, matches, and lighters out of the reach of children.
• Use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface, away from buildings, vehicles, and vegetation.
• Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars, or buildings.
• Never pick up or try to re-light a “dud.”
• Never alter fireworks or make your own.
• Have a hose nearby in case of fire and place “spent” fireworks in a metal bucket with water.

To help curb illegal activity, RF&R firefighters will be driving through neighborhoods the evening of July 4th to share safety information.

The Redmond Fire Marshal’s Office and law enforcement agencies will be patrolling communities to enforce laws related to the use of illegal fireworks in Oregon. Under Oregon law, the Fire Marshal’s Office and law enforcement can seize illegal fireworks and issue criminal citations with fines up to $500 per violation and a sentence of up to 6 months in jail. People can be held civilly liable for damages resulting from improper use of any fireworks — legal or illegal.  People using fireworks can also commit other criminal offenses, including reckless burning, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and more, which can have large fines and jail/prison time.

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.

Individuals needing to report a fire or medical emergency should call 911; individuals wishing to report a nuisance or concern about illegal fireworks are encouraged to make a report at reportfireworks@redmondoregon.gov.  These situations will be logged and responded to as resources allow.

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