Fireworks Are Illegal if You’re Under 18

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The 4th of July holiday is always a busy time of year. It is a day of parades, fun in the park, barbecues and of course fireworks. The Bend Fire Department would like to remind you to keep the day safe and don’t get burned with fireworks.

There are many retailers that you can purchase legal fireworks from in the Bend area. Buying fireworks from a permitted facility helps ensure you are buying legal and compliant fireworks for use in Bend and Oregon. Fireworks purchased in one state may not be legal in another state. Contact your local fire department for a list of permitted and approved fireworks sales locations in your area.

In the U.S. in 2006 alone there were nearly 10,000 people injured by fireworks and many of those were children. In that same year both legal and illegal fireworks caused 2,500 fires resulted in $39 million in property damages. Nationally and locally, Independence Day is the busiest day of the year for fire and police departments.

In Bend the legal age to buy, sell, possess or use fireworks is 18 years of age. This means that an adult will need to be the ones that purchase, handle and ignite the fireworks used in Bend. Other areas and communities may have different regulations, check with your local fire or police department to find out what the legal age is for fireworks sale, possession and use in your area.

This year Bend City Police Officers and Fire Marshals will be working in tandem on the 4th of July to respond to complaints of illegal fireworks use. The goal of the patrols is to reduce the use of illegal fireworks. Fireworks that are illegal in the State of Oregon are any type that fly, explode, eject balls of fire or move across the ground more than 6 feet or into the air more than 12 inches. Deschutes County 911 will be fielding all fireworks related complaints through their dispatch center. Citizens can call the non-emergency phone 693-6911 to report illegal fireworks use. Persons using illegal fireworks are subject to a citation up to $750 (plus court cost/fees) and confiscation of all illegal fireworks.

Use caution when using fireworks. As the days get hotter and dryer, the possibilities of a wildfire from fireworks increase. Ensure you are using fireworks in a safe manner this holiday season. Most of these fires and injuries are preventable. By following these simple tips, you and your family can stay safe this Forth of July:

  • BE PREPARED:

                    o       Only use fireworks that are LEGAL FOR USE IN OREGON

                    o       Always read the directions of the firework you are about to use

                    o       Set up a bucket of water or have a hose ready to douse any misfired fireworks or fires

                    o       Soak used fireworks in water prior to disposing of them

  • BE SAFE:

                    o       Only use fireworks outdoors, on a non-combustible surface keeping away from cars,

                             buildings, and combustible vegetation

                    o       Never alter fireworks or make your own

                    o       Never pick up or try to re-light a “dud”

  • BE RESPONSIBLE:

                    o       Store fireworks, lighters and matches out of reach of children

                    o       BEND CITY CODE 5.080 – It is unlawful for a person under the age of 18 years to sell,

                             keep or offer for sale, expose for sale, possess, use, explode or have exploded any

                            fireworks within the City.

                    o       Supervise the area where fireworks are being used and make sure everyone is kept a safe

                             distance away from the fireworks

                    o       Alcohol use can contribute to an even greater risk of injury or fire when combined with

                            fireworks use, please be responsible when using your fireworks this Forth of July.

The Pilot Butte Display is a safe alternative and is one of the largest shows in Oregon. It provides fireworks for everyone to see, hear, and feel the thrills without the added risk of lighting fireworks yourself.

For more information please visit the City of Bend’s web site www.ci.bend.or.us and go to the Fire Department’s page for more on Fireworks and fire safety.

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