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Fire Chiefs Association warns of dangers of fireworks as July 4 approaches

The King County Fire Chiefs Association wants to remind people the safest way to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July is to attend one of many professional fireworks displays in the region.

There were 45 fireworks related fires and 54 injuries reported in King County in 2013 – down from 70 fires and 51 injuries in 2012.

The Association continues to advocate for the end to the sale and discharge of fireworks in King County.

“Our goal and focus is to ensure each family gets to celebrate the 4th of July in a safe, secure, and happy manner with friends and family,” said King County Fire Chiefs Association President and Port of Seattle Fire Chief Randy Krause in a press release.

“If you are intending to buy fireworks, please do so from a legal and approved stand. Do NOT allow children to light fireworks and make sure they are under the supervision of an adult,” said Krause. “Never light fireworks in an area in which there are combustibles and always have a bucket of water and garden hose available. Dispose of fireworks in a non-combustible container preferably with water to ensure no re-ignition.”

Statewide data continued to see a steady decline in the total number of fireworks related incidents occurring in the state, according to State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy in the annual Fireworks Report. The state report also shows a trend over the past five years where considerable progress has been made toward becoming an informed and safer Washington.

“We expect to see an increase in calls given the fact the Fourth begins a three day weekend,” said Dave Nelson, Association spokesperson. “Fire Departments around the region will bring in additional staff to respond to fireworks related calls. Many cities have banned fireworks all together or have restrictions like in unincorporated King County where it’s only legal to discharge fireworks on the Fourth from 9 a.m. to midnight.”

To learn more about fireworks ordinances in your city or county and a list of Fourth of July celebrations visit the State Fire Marshal website at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.

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