Fireworks: Safety, Tips, and Regulations
Happy Independence Day Weekend! What plans do you have for the holiday?
Watching fireworks? Lighting your own fireworks? Having a nice family BBQ? In this blog, we’ll have all your important 4th of July topics covered!
Here at RMC, we want you to enjoy your holiday however you choose, but we want you to be safe! A lot of firework displays have been canceled once again this year. If you’re thinking about buying your own, make sure your county allows them first! Here is a quick look at the laws in each state you’ll find an RMC branch.
“There are no firework displays where I live, can I light my own?”
All legal fireworks in California are called Safe and Sane Fireworks and must have the State Fire Marshal’s seal. Safe and Sane Fireworks may only be used and sold from noon June 28th through midnight on July 4th. Any firework that goes up in the air or explodes is illegal and dangerous. Safe and Sane Fireworks are not legal in all counties of California and you can be subjected to a hefty fine if you use them in a forbidden area.
Remember to remain safe while using Safe and Sane Fireworks:
- Always have a bucket of water to dispose of fireworks and leave soaking overnight before disposing of.
- Always have a hose connected to water available in case of fire.
- Do not use fireworks near dry grass or other flammable materials
- Do not use fireworks while under a canopy, covered balcony, covered patio or under a tree or bushes.
Washington State Fireworks Law governs the regulation of fireworks. This includes what fireworks are legal, the licensing for public fireworks displays, and when fireworks may be discharged.
Washington state has strict rules when it comes to approved dates and times for sale, purchase, & discharge. Be sure to follow the below guidelines:
Cities and counties may, by ordinance, further restrict the days and times when fireworks may be sold and discharged. Not all counties allow the sale and discharge of fireworks. Be sure to check your county laws before purchasing, selling, or lighting fireworks.
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office provided the below safety tips to all residents regarding the upcoming holiday:
• Purchase Washington legal consumer fireworks from a licensed and locally permitted retail stand.
• Only use fireworks outdoors and away from buildings on a flat, level, fireproof surface free from debris.
• Read and follow all safety labels and instructions.
• Have a water supply and water bucket available at all times.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a firework.
• Never throw fireworks or light fireworks in your hands.
• Never pick up or try to re-ignite a firework that fails to light.
• Never carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them from a container.
• Always have adults light fireworks. Keep all fireworks, including matches and lighters, away from children.
• Allow discharged fireworks to sit for at least 20 minutes before submerging them fully in water for at least
10 minutes. Dispose of drained products in a plastic bag.
• Keep all pets indoors and protected from the sights and sounds of the holiday.
Be Prepared – Be Safe – Be Responsible
In some counties, consumer fireworks are allowed on private property within city limits, with the property owner’s consent, between June 24th and July 6th. The minimum age for purchasing consumer fireworks is 16 years old.
While the use of consumer fireworks is permitted on private property within the city limits, it is still illegal to use consumer fireworks anywhere on public property (streets, sidewalks, and parks).
Please check your county guidelines. They may differ from the state and some counties have placed restrictions for time of use.
i.e. Glendale does not allow the use of ANY fireworks between 12:30 am – 7:00 am.
Cities, towns, counties, and the state of Colorado all have their own laws. In some cities, any kind of fireworks (even sparklers!) are completely illegal! This includes cities like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Edgewater. Check your city laws before purchasing or using fireworks.
If permitted in your county, the State of Colorado may allow:
- toy caps,
- snake or glow worms,
- ground spinners,
- illuminating torches,
- dipped sticks and sparklers,
- toy propellants,
- noisemakers that crackle or whistle (but don’t explode)
Here are some fireworks safety tips from Loveland Fire Rescue Authority:
- Only purchase and use fireworks that are permissible in your area.
- Read the labels for proper use and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Do not allow children to handle fireworks without direct adult supervision.
- Only use fireworks in a safe area that is clear of combustible materials.
- Have a bucket of water and a garden hose nearby at all times.
- Ensure that all spectators are a safe distance away from fireworks.
- Be courteous and sensitive to the effects of the use of fireworks when it comes to your neighbors and pets.
The state of Texas allows you to use fireworks any day of the year as long as they are not banned in the area you live.
Texas universal firework law allows municipalities to enforce their own restrictions. Check out your city or county’s specific firework regulations before buying or using fireworks where you live. Most cities in Texas do not permit fireworks. In counties where fireworks are allowed, you can purchase fireworks from June 24 through midnight on July 4. If you choose to purchase fireworks, be sure to check for countywide burn bans before lighting.
In Texas you can NOT explode or ignite fireworks in these places:
- Within 600 feet of any church, hospital, an asylum or a school unless you have written authorization from that organization.
- Within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids or compressed gasses are stored.
- Within 100 feet of a place where fireworks are stored or sold.
- In or from a motor vehicle
Like all the above states, each county has its own laws. Fireworks are illegal in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County except for the safe and sane variety that can legally be sold during the week prior to July Fourth.
Throughout Nevada, it is illegal to possess fireworks in schools, streets, sidewalks, and city, state, or federal property. Check your county guidelines for more information.
Remember to always be careful when using fireworks. The American Burn Association warns families not to alter, modify or relight fireworks.
BBQ Safety on the 4th
Think before you light! Ways to ensure a safe and fun BBQ.
- Only use your BBQ grills outdoors.
- Use grills away from any and all structures.
- Regularly clean your grill. Remove grease and fat buildup from the grill, trays, and underneath before using.
- Never leave your grill.
- Be sure the gas grill is stable and the lid is open before lighting it.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
- Do not allow pets or children into the grill area.
Fireworks cause anxiety amongst a lot of pets due to the loud noises of the fireworks, crowds or neighbors celebrating. Leave your pets at home for your holiday celebration — even if they’re normally good in loud/social scenarios.
- Prepare for the worst. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag and double-check that your microchip is updated with the correct contact information. Lastly, take a picture of your pet so you have a current photo if anything happens!
- Give your pet a safe place to hide. Lower the blinds, close all windows and provide a bed or crate where they can feel comfortable.
- Provide ambient noise. Play something they’re used to hearing to drown out the fireworks (tv or radio)
- For the extra anxious – talk to your vet about anti-anxiety chews or try purchasing an anxiety vest to ease the stress.
- Secure your residence. If you will be out for a 4th of July celebration, be sure there is no way for your pet to escape your home.
Happy 4th from RMC! Stay safe, enjoy your families, and remember that RMC is on standby for any unexpected restoration emergencies.