Celebrate safely this July 4 weekend
Remember, fireworks are banned in Mill Creek
Last updated 7/7/2020 at 12:36pm
The summer season is in full swing and with the July 4 weekend just around the corner, local authorities are calling for an increase in public awareness about fireworks safety – especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because most of the large fireworks displays sponsored by cities and chambers of commerce have been canceled due to COVID-19, some people are looking to light off their own fireworks this year.
"The great care you should always exercise when handling fireworks is even more critical this year," said Snohomish County Fire Marshal Michael McCrary. "In the midst of COVID-19, avoiding any unnecessary demand for hospital beds is important for the health of everyone in the county."
"The City of Mill Creek does not allow fireworks and they are banned within the city limits," Heather Chadwick, a public information officer from the Snohomish Fire District 7, said. "However, there are areas to light them within designated areas of the unincorporated Snohomish County."
For those gathering together to light fireworks, it is required to practice social distancing and while wearing face masks, following June's statewide mandate of face masks in public spaces when its impossible to stay six feet away from others.
For areas where fireworks are illegal, looking for other ways to celebrate the holidays is encouraged. While it may be tempting to celebrate Independence Day traditionally by lighting fireworks, the fire department recommends looking for creative alternatives during these, particularly challenging times.
"Having a glow stick party with the kids, using balloons and bubbles, and just trying to find an alternative because we do see an increase of fires starting because of fireworks along with an increase in injuries because of fireworks," Chadwick said
It is also illegal to light fireworks in any Washington State or Snohomish County Parks. It is also illegal to discharge fireworks before or after July 4 outside the designated time period from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Additional tips for firework laws and safety can be found on the Snohomish County website:
–Be prepared before you light fireworks;
–Use legal fireworks, available at licensed outlets;
–Store fireworks and matches out of children's reach;
–Keep pets safe indoors;
–Always keep water handy and soak used fireworks;
–Only adults should light fireworks;
–Use fireworks outdoors only and maintain a distance from residential buildings;.
–Do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand;
–Protect your eyes;
–Light one firework at a time and move away quickly;
–Never relight a "dud"; and
–Be considerate – clean up used fireworks.
To report any illegal discharge of fireworks, call 425-407-3999, however, if the situation is life-threatening, call 911.