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Fireworks Going On Sale, Fire Marshal Issues Safety Reminders
The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, natural resource agencies, Oregon fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to "Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe" when using fireworks. The 2012 Oregon fireworks sales season opens June 23 and runs through July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know what fireworks are legal in Oregon, where they are permitted, and the important steps to take for fireworks safety.
"People often forget that legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands," says State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. "And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. For example, fireworks are prohibited on all Oregon beaches, in parks, and campgrounds."
Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are ILLEGAL in Oregon.
Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $500 per violation. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.
There were 172 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2011, resulting in more than $1 million in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2007 through 2011, there were 942 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 85 civilian injuries, and more than $4.6 million in property damage.
The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four B's 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.
* Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 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.