As we draw closer to the 4th, a frequent question for our personnel is whether someone's fireworks are legal. Here's some great insight from the state fire marshal:
To ensure that you purchase legal consumer fireworks that are both safe and high quality, visit one of the many licensed fireworks stands operating during the Fourth of July fireworks sales period. By law, these stands may only sell approved and legal fireworks.
“Don’t take any chances,” cautions State Fire Marshal Charles P. LeBlanc, “stay away from high-powered, illegal explosive devices such as M80s or homemade devices. While the Fourth of July happens only once a year, these devices can cause a life-altering injury that can last you a lifetime.”
Top 10 signs that your fireworks may be illegal:
• They were not purchased from a Washington State licensed fireworks stand
• They were purchased through an online vendor, mail order, or a listing on OfferUp
• The person selling you the fireworks tells you they were bought in another state
• They are not packaged in brightly colored paper
• They do not have any safety warnings or instructions on the packaging
• The packaging does not indicate the country of manufacture
• It resembles a roll of coins with a fuse coming out the side
• It is wrapped with plain brown paper
• It is solid red, silver or brown in color
• It looks homemade:
o Wrapped in electrical tape
o Fuse isn’t taped down
If you know where these illegal explosives devices are being sold, manufactured, or possessed; report it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or the local police department on a non-emergency phone number. Only call 911 to report emergencies.
Have a safe and happy 4th!