Fireworks safety and rules

Independence Day is a time to celebrate freedom. With this freedom comes a shared responsibility to ensure the safe use of fireworks. Please be aware that the community will be enforcing the fireworks law to make this Independence Day safer for all.

Every year fireworks injure people and cause vegetation and structure fires. Whenever a firework device is lit, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid areas with dry grass or dry vegetation. Position fireworks so they will not land on or near a home or building. Be sure spectators are at a safe distance. To celebrate safely remember to: Be Prepared, Be Safe and Be Responsible.

Be Prepared — Use only legal fireworks purchased at licensed stands. Store them out of children’s reach.

Be Safe — Only adults should light fireworks. Light one firework at a time and move away quickly. Use eye protection, never relight a dud and always keep water handy. Be Responsible: Soak used fireworks in water and clean up firework debris.

Persons using fireworks must remember that there may be legal consequences to injuries or fires caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks. Consequences range from being charged with malicious mischief to assault or a gross misdemeanor for possession of illegal explosive devices such as fireworks that have been tampered with or altered. A gross misdemeanor can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in prison.

Devices which are illegal to possess in Washington State Include:

Fire Crackers/Chasers

Altered Fireworks

Cherry Bombs

Bottle Rockets

Homemade Devices

Tennis Balls, Bombs

Missiles and Rockets

M-80’s, M-100’s and larger

Pipe Bombs

Talk with your family members and guests about the fireworks law here on Lopez Island. In San Juan County the legal discharge dates are July 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Be sure to discharge all fireworks devices so there are no leftovers. The fine for possession or discharge of fireworks outside legal dates is $250. The Fire Chief requests that the community work together to keep the island safe during this Independence Day celebration.