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How to stay safe despite the rockets’ red glare

To ensure that the general public enjoys a safe and sane Independence Day, it’s important to take caution with fireworks and learn what is legal and what isn’t. To help in this regard, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s office has provided the following guidelines the July holiday.

Legal fireworks in Washington are only sold between June 28 and July 4. In the City of Poulsbo, discharge of fireworks is only allowed between 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on July 3 and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4. Elsewhere in North Kitsap, lighting times are limited to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4.

Illegal fireworks are not for public use. They contain prohibited chemicals or quantities of chemicals that contain more than allowed amounts. Illegal fireworks are larger than legally allowed and are constructed in a way that is not allowed under federal laws and regulations.

The following types of fireworks are illegal under Washington law (but legal under Federal law): Firecrackers and salutes, bottle rockets or sky rockets with sticks and missile type rockets with fin.

The following type of devices are illegal under both federal and state laws: M-80s, M-100s or larger, cherry bombs, tennis balls, pipe bombs, and special fireworks including tampered, altered or homemade devices.

When using the fireworks, the Fire Marshal’s office asks to take notice of the following guidelines:

• View professional displays for the holiday instead of setting up your own show. Do not let children handle fireworks. Even sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees.

• If you chose to purchase and light your own, make sure they are legal fireworks, which can be purchased from licensed stands from June 28 to July 4.

• Before lighting fireworks, keep a bucket of water nearby for all used fireworks. Have a water hose or fire extinguisher ready to put out stray sparks.

• Know the emergency number to call for your area and have a basic first aid kit on hand.

• When lighting the fireworks, have a designated adult do the all the lighting of the fireworks, using eye protection such as safety goggles.

• Light one firework at a time, move away quickly and keep the spectators at a safe distance until the display is finished. Light all fireworks outdoors, away from anything that can burn. Prevent injuries by following label directions on the fireworks carefully.

• When done with the fireworks, be considerate of the neighbors and clean up the leftover debris. If a device did not light or catch fire, the designated adult should wait at least five minutes and then approach it carefully. Make sure all unused fireworks. are out of sight and out of reach of children.

Jerry Cooper, Deputy Fire Marshal with the Poulsbo Fire Department said he is also concerned about the dry weather lately.

“Our big issue is that everything is very dry and (everyone) should take extreme caution when igniting fireworks,” Cooper said. “Our main concern is that we are having a lot of brush fires and are worried about brush fires started by fireworks.”

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