Fireworks ban in King County weeks before 4th of July celebrations

Jun 15, 2022, 5:48 PM

Photo from David R Irons Jr...

Photo from David R Irons Jr

Most incorporated cities in King County already have fireworks bans, but unincorporated parts of the county have been a fireworks free-for-all on the Fourth of July. Not anymore.

The King County Council has approved a ban on the use and sale of commercial fireworks in all unincorporated parts of the county.

The ban also includes sparklers and smoke bombs.

Since this is the first year of the ban, King County says its emphasis will be on educating the community, not on issuing citations. However, next summer, law enforcement will begin ticketing and fining anyone who violates the ban.

“Our goal is to give the public information in advance to make sure they know about the new law and when it will take effect,” Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts wrote in a statement. “Our priority is safety. We want the people who live, work, and play in unincorporated King County to enjoy the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, and other holidays — safely.”

The new fireworks ban was prompted by a 2019 incident that took the life of veteran Roland Kennedy and his two dogs, as well as burning down multiple homes in the area, leaving 13 people without a place to stay.

On the Gee and Ursula show on KIRO Newsradio, Gee Scott and Spike O’Neill talked about the importance of allowing people to enjoy the holidays in contrast to ensuring safety.

“You can also call me responsible for wanting your children and your loved ones and your house safe,” Gee said. “I believe fireworks started by amateurs lead to bad things.  So I don’t like fire. I think fireworks are left best to and with the professionals. So King County is getting rid of fireworks here in this county. Yes. Love it. Awesome.”

If you choose to buy and discharge fireworks, follow these safety tips from the Fire Marshal:

    • Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.
    • Use eye protection.
    • Have a charged garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy.
    • Use fireworks outdoors only—away from buildings, houses with wood exteriors, trees, and dry fields.
    • Avoid aerial fireworks.
    • Light one item at a time, move away quickly, and have everyone keep a safe distance.
    • If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes before approaching it.
    • Clean up all debris and soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
    • Keep pets safe (Regional Animal Services of King County provides information about fireworks safety for pets).

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Fireworks ban in King County weeks before 4th of July celebrations