Reminder: consumer fireworks are illegal in Spokane

With the Independence Day fast approaching, the Spokane Fire Department is reminding everyone that the sale and use of all amateur (consumer) fireworks is illegal in the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Millwood, Liberty Lake and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County.

Illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in infractions of $536 for each violation, in addition to fines and court costs. Anyone who starts a fire is also liable for restitution of damaged property and for the recovery of Fire Department response costs.

All fireworks are prohibited, including – but not limited to – non-detonating military devices such as large flares, certain propellants, specialty fireworks and larger devices used in public displays, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, sparklers, bottle rockets and similar materials that contain any explosive or combustible compound.

This year marks the 26th year in which all consumer fireworks are illegal. Based on the number of fireworks-caused fires between 1983 and 1992, the fireworks ban has prevented an estimated 2,200 fires. In the 10 years prior to the fireworks ordinance in 1993, firefighters responded to an average of 104 fireworks-caused fires just in the City of Spokane during the nine-day period between June 28 and July 6. During the past 25 years of the ban, the average number of fireworks-caused fires has dramatically dropped to five. Prior to the ban, there were so many fireworks-caused fires around the Fourth of July that some emergency medical calls to 9-1-1 had to be stacked until first responders could be dispatched.

In addition to the number of fires and injuries caused by consumer fireworks each year, fireworks can have a negative impact on neighbors, pets, and veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Violations of the fireworks ban should be reported to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

The Spokane Fire Department would like to wish the community a Happy Independence Day and encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday safely by leaving fireworks up to the professionals. Everyone is invited to the community celebration on July 4th at Riverfront Park, starting at noon and continuing until the 10 p.m. fireworks display provided by licensed pyrotechnicians.

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