Friday, June 30, 2017

Fire Officials Encourage Residents to Attend Professional Fireworks Display for Holiday


News Release from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
Posted on FlashAlert: June 30th, 2017 2:41 PM
Media invited to ride along with fire investigators on July 4 (first come, first serve)

One of the most common summer fires that TVF&R responds to involves "spent" fireworks placed in a bucket or grocery sack that rekindle and spread to fences, decks and even homes. Legal and illegal fireworks can cause injuries, damage and stress. According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal, there were 192 fireworks-related fires causing more than $519,000 in property damage in Oregon last year. Over the past five years, fireworks-related fires were responsible for more than $2.1 million in property loss.

Firework patrols during the holiday
In an effort to help curb illegal activity, TVF&R firefighters will be driving through neighborhoods the evening of July 4 to share safety information. In addition, TVF&R deputy fire marshals will be present at public displays and will be riding with local law enforcement officers during the evening of July 4 to assist with enforcement efforts. Please contact TVF&R's Duty PIO if you're interested in a ride-along.

Residents can drop off unwanted fireworks at any TVF&R Fire Station
If you'd like to dispose of fireworks (illegal or legal), you can drop them off at any TVF&R fire station.

Instead of lighting your own fireworks, attend a professional display.
Shows in TVF&R's service area:
* Cook Park, 17005 SW 92nd Avenue in Tigard
* Willamette Park, 1100 12th St in West Linn
* Oak Hills, Washington County

If you are intent to use fireworks, keep it legal and safe
Just because it's legal, doesn't mean it's 100 percent safe. This includes sparklers. They can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees; wood burns at 575 degrees, while glass melts at 900 degrees (National Fire Protection Association).
* Only adults should light or handle fireworks. Supervise children at all times.
* Use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface, away from buildings, vehicles, and vegetation.
* Never pick up or try to re-light a "dud."
* Never alter fireworks or make your own.
* Have a hose nearby in case of fire and place "spent" fireworks in a metal bucket with water.

Penalties for misusing fireworks.
Law enforcement agencies enforce criminal laws related to the use of illegal fireworks in Oregon. Under Oregon law, officers can seize illegal fireworks and issue criminal citations, including reckless burning, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and more. People can face fines up to $500 per violation. People can also be held civilly liable for damages resulting from improper use of any fireworks - legal or illegal.

Reporting firework incidents in TVF&R's service area.
Individuals needing to report a fire or medical emergency should call 911; individuals wishing to report a nuisance or concern about illegal fireworks should do so via the non-emergency number, 503.629.0111. These situations will be logged, passed on to local enforcement and responded to as resources allow.
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