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The Fireworks Ban in Spokane is Working!

Release Date: 6/16/2009 12:00:00 AM

Contact: Marlene Feist, 625-6740

This July marks the 17th year of a complete fireworks ban in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake and the unincorporated parts of Spokane County.

The Spokane Fire Department would like to thank our citizens for their diligent adherence to the ban, which has led to a dramatic drop in fires and injuries associated with Independence Day fireworks.

“The fireworks ban helps keep our citizens safe,” says Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams. “I want to commend the community for their willingness to celebrate the Fourth of July without consumer fireworks.”

Here’s a great statistic: Fireworks-related fires in the City of Spokane dropped from 1,044 in the 10 years prior to the ban to just 46 in the 10 years after the ban. In a similar manner, fireworks-caused injuries dropped from 290 to 37. In 2008, no injuries from fireworks were reported in the City of Spokane; there were five small grass fires.

Clearly, most people are honoring the ban. Violations of the ban can be reported to Crime Check at 456-2233.

Common fireworks frankly are NOT “Safe-and-Sane!”

Each year, there are still about 8,000 fireworks-related injuries requiring emergency room care or hospitalization in the U.S. during the July 4th period. Most fireworks injuries involve devices that are legal under current federal law.

The majority of those injured by fireworks are children under age 15. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Center for Injury Research & Policy, Emergency Nurses Association, Fire Department Safety Officers Association, International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Firefighters, International Fire Marshals Association and Prevent Blindness America are all in support of consumer fireworks bans throughout the U.S.

Individual fireworks are NOT cheap entertainment! Millions of dollars in direct property damage is caused each year in less than a 2-week period as Americans celebrated their July 4th Independence.

The Colville Tribe lost over $15 million in timber on July 4, 2003, after someone lit a bottle rocket from a boat on Lake Roosevelt. In 2006, about $6 million in damage to schools in Washington State was caused by fireworks.

Firecrackers, bottle rockets and missiles have been illegal throughout the State of Washington for more than 60 years, long before the Spokane ban.

The Spokane Fire Department encourages the community to celebrate the Fourth of July by enjoying the annual public fireworks display in Riverfront Park.

For additional information on the negative impact of individual fireworks across the United States, please visit the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org or contact the Fire Department’s public education desk at jdoherty@spokanefire.org

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