News | Local

Local Law Enforcement Urge Caution As Holiday Approaches

OPB | July 2, 2014 11:32 a.m. | Updated: July 3, 2014 12:27 p.m. | Portland

Contributed By:

Rebecca Koffman

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For many, it doesn’t feel like Independence Day without the bang and flash of fireworks. But they can be deadly. Police and fire departments around the region are alerting residents to new regulations and offering tips for enjoying the holiday safely.

This year, fines for detonation of illegal fireworks will be higher in some areas.  In other parts of the region, there are new limits on when fireworks can be sold and what days they can be detonated.

Portland Fire Chief warns residents in a Fire Bureau safety message that fines for possession or use of illegal fireworks in the city, can go as high as $1,000.

In Beaverton, police are putting residents on notice that they will be conducting extra patrols in neighborhoods to crack down on violators.

Farther south in the Willamette Valley, the Daily Emerald reports that the “Eugene City Council recently passed an ordinance limiting the days when legal fireworks can be set off inside city limits with violators facing a $500 fine. The 16 days that legal fireworks can be used are now between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 and January 1.”

Vancouver, Washington is taking a stricter approach this year. Fireworks there are on sale for just three days this year: July 2 through July 4. Stands are open 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. each day.

And  fireworks can only be legally discharged in Vancouver city limits between 9 a.m. and midnight on July 4.

But it’s best, say police and fire chiefs around the region, to leave fireworks to the professionals.

Here’s a list of public fireworks displays in the Portland Metro area. 

And if you are lighting your own fireworks, be sure to know which ones are legal in Oregon. Here’s a handy guide.

And finally, some tips from the City of Portland on how to light fireworks safely:

  • When using legal fireworks, only set them off outdoors, in a clear area, away from homes, dry leaves or grass and other flammable materials.
  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances. Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
  • Be sure other people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Ashes and burned material should be placed in a metal can with a lid and stored away from combustibles or buildings.

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