Fireworks safety in a pandemic
Every year in the U.S., about 9,000 people are injured using fireworks at home, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most of these injuries take place around the July Fourth holiday. This year, we have been dealing with the dual pandemics of COVID and racial injustice. Most public fireworks displays have been cancelled. If you decide to use consumer fireworks, please do so with caution and follow local rules and regulations. In addition, remember that social distancing, wearing a face covering and hand-washing are still very important.
- Fireworks are banned in many cities
- Fireworks purchased from approved firework stands are only allowed to be discharged in unincorporated King County on July 4, and they should be sold only by reliable Washington State- and King County Fire Marshal-licensed retailers
- Fireworks not purchased from a state-licensed fireworks retailors are not approved to be discharged in unincorporated King County. They may be considered explosive material.
- Fireworks are not allowed in King County Parks, per King County Code.
If you choose to discharge fireworks on the 4th follow these rules and safety tips:
- You must be at least 16 years old, with photo identification, to purchase fireworks.
- Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.
- Have a garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy.
- Use fireworks outdoors only—away from buildings, houses with wood exteriors, trees, and dry fields.
- Avoid aerial fireworks.
- Light one item at a time, move away quickly, and have everyone keep a safe distance.
- If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes before approaching it.
- Soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
- Keep pets safe. Use eye protection. Clean up all debris. (Regional Animal Services of King County provides information about fireworks safety for pets)
- If it has a stick or fins and it goes up, or if it explodes, it is illegal in Washington State.