More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
“We’re braced for the emergency calls we receive on the Fourth of July,” said Fire Chief Paul Carlyle. “Our preference as emergency responders who see the injuries and fires caused is that people don’t let off fireworks. But if you choose to celebrate with them, please take some precautions to do so as safely as possible.”
The best option is to leave the fireworks up to professionals. This year, the River of Fire, will be hosted by the Gesa Carousel of Dreams and the City of Kennewick. The fireworks show will be free to all, and put on at 10:00 p.m. on the Fourth of July in Columbia Park in Kennewick (at Highway 240 and Columbia River).
For those that are lighting off consumer fireworks in areas where it is legal, please follow these tips to reduce fire risk and injury:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks and older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Find an area to light of fireworks that is away from people, buildings, and flammable material
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person, and don’t hold them in your hands
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks, instead soak them thoroughly in water
- Keep a charged hose and a bucket of water nearby
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
Additional safety tips can be found on Benton County Fire District 4’s website at www.bcfd4.org.
Benton County Fire District 4 does not make rules or regulations about fireworks, nor does it do any enforcement. County and City Councils are responsible for making and enforcing laws. The fire district is responsible for putting out fires and responding to calls for emergency medical service. Please call 9-1-1 to dispatch emergency responders if you see a fire or a person is injured.