Leave fireworks to the professionals
The safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July is to attend public fireworks where you know the event organizers have been trained on proper safety procedures. Find a list of local fireworks display locations here.
Legal vs. Illegal Fireworks
It can be confusing to know what is legal or illegal when it comes to fireworks. Consumer fireworks are fireworks legally sold to the general public and regulated specifically for the consumer retail market. Consumer fireworks must contain the code UN-336 - a designation showing they are intended for consumer use. Fireworks without this code, often purchased on tribal land, are not safe and strictly prohibited in Washington State anywhere other than tribal land.
Both legal and illegal fireworks can cause great harm. The majority of injuries from fireworks comes from holding fireworks, standing too close to fireworks, getting hit by flying debris, and attempting to re-light "dud" fireworks. It is important to remember these safety tips when handling fireworks:
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting
- Always wear eye protection and never hold a firework in your hand while igniting
- Make sure a responsible adult is always supervising all fireworks activities
- Never relight a "dud" firework
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
- Leave pets at home when you go to parties or fireworks displays
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound
- Make sure your pet(s) has an identifying tag, in case it runs off
Reporting fireworks violations
On the Fourth of July, 911 centers can become overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls. Do not call 911 unless you have a life threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire, or medics. Any fireworks-related fire or injury should be reported directly to 911. Other fireworks violations may be reported by calling the Bothell Police non-emergency number at (425) 486-1254.