It's 4th of July time and the Seaside Police and Fire Department are reminding residents and visitors celebrating with fireworks to use only legal "Safe and Sane" fireworks.
In 2012, there were 161 fireworks related fires in Oregon that caused an estimated $233,673 in damage. Last year 36 people were injured by fireworks across the state. More than half of those injured by fireworks are children and 40% injure bystanders.
Oregon law bans fireworks that fly, explode, or act in an uncontrolled manner. Many fireworks purchased by mail order or in the state of Washington are illegal in Oregon. This includes bottle rockets, roman candles, firecrackers and M80's. To ensure that you are using legal fireworks, purchase them from a fixed and licensed firework stand or retail outlet.
When using legal fireworks:
· Have a bucket of water or hose nearby to "douse" misfired and spent fireworks and/or extinguish potential fires.
· Use fireworks outside on a paved surface, far away from buildings and bushes.
· Never aim fireworks at people, property, or pets.
· Never alter fireworks or make your own.
· Never pick up or try to re-light a "dud."
· Store fireworks, lighters, and matches out of the reach of children.
· Only adults should handle or light fireworks. Supervise children at all times when using fireworks.
In addition to the safety concerns, individuals using fireworks should know there are laws and penalties relating to fireworks:
You can be held liable for damages resulting from misuse of fireworks - legal or illegal.
· Parents can be held liable for damage caused by their children
· Under Oregon law, officials can seize illegal fireworks and you can be fined up to $500 per violation and/or arrested. Seaside City Ordinance 131.11 prohibits the possession or discharge of any firecracker, explosives, torpedoes, rockets, or other similar devices within the ocean shore recreation area (The Beach) and you can be fined up to $700
· Fire departments can fine you for the cost of extinguishing fires caused by fireworks.