Fireworks-related deaths, injuries on the rise

The Attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno urge you to use fireworks legally, responsibly, and safely. Most people are already hearing the “boom” and it may be in violation of the local laws. 

Injury and Fire Damage

A new report by the U.S. consumer product safety commission shows, at least 18 people across the country died in fireworks-related incidents last year.

The report says there were also about 15,600 people nationally sent to the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries. Most of those injuries happened in the weeks around the July 4th holiday with burns being the most common injury.

According to a recent State Fire Marshal’s Report, last year there were 237 fireworks-related injuries reported and 360 fires reported due to fireworks use, resulting in a loss of $1,307,884. A large portion of the injuries reported were to bystanders watching. Fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, contusions, lacerations, and foreign objects in the eye.

Make the choice to protect yourself and your family from fireworks injuries.

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
• Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often means they were made for    professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers.
• Make sure you, your kids, and others watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
• Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.

The Law

In the State of Washington, RCW 70.77 establishes the laws regulating the use, control, and sale of fireworks. However, RCW 70.77.250 and RCW 70.77.395 provide that any ordinances adopted by a county or city that are more restrictive than state law shall have an effective date no sooner than one year after their adoption.

According to the State of Washington (1) It is legal to sell and purchase consumer fireworks within this state from twelve o’clock noon to eleven o’clock p.m. on the twenty-eighth of June, from nine o’clock a.m. to eleven o’clock p.m. on each day from the twenty-ninth of June through the fourth of July, from nine o’clock a.m. to nine o’clock p.m. on the fifth of July, from twelve o’clock noon to eleven o’clock p.m. on each day from the twenty-seventh of December through the thirty-first of December of each year, and as provided in RCW 70.77.311.

(2) Consumer fireworks may be used or discharged each day between the hours of twelve o’clock noon and eleven o’clock p.m. on the twenty-eighth of June and between the hours of nine o’clock a.m. and eleven o’clock p.m. on the twenty-ninth of June to the third of July, and on July 4th between the hours of nine o’clock a.m. and twelve o’clock midnight, and between the hours of nine o’clock a.m. and eleven o’clock p.m. on July 5th, and from six o’clock p.m. on December 31st until one o’clock a.m. on January 1st of the subsequent year, and as provided in RCW 70.77.311.

(3) A city or county may enact an ordinance within sixty days of June 13, 2002, to limit or prohibit the sale, purchase, possession, or use of consumer fireworks on December 27, 2002, through December 31, 2002, and thereafter as provided in RCW 70.77.250(4).

Local Control

It is important to check with the city or county for local changes to the state law because any ordinances adopted by a county or city that are more restrictive than state law shall have an effective date no sooner than one year after their adoption.

Report Injuries

The state collects information about firework related injuries and damages. The report can be found HERE.

Contact the attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Centralia and Olympia

Althauser Rayan Abbarno has represented individuals and businesses in civil and criminal matters since 1946. For more information, contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno at (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com