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Celebrate safely on Independence Day


Retail fireworks stands are set to open in Bellingham on June 28, and the Bellingham Fire Marshal urges residents to celebrate safely this Independence Day. Bellingham Fire Marshal Jason Napier also reminds residents that fireworks are only allowed to be discharged within city limits on July 4th from 9 a.m. to midnight. Details about City of Bellingham Fireworks regulations can be found in the Bellingham Municipal Code (10.24.130).

Napier said families celebrating with fireworks should take precautions to protect children and the public from fireworks injuries.  

"Set family boundaries. Only adults should light fireworks.  Supervision is paramount in keeping children safe," Napier said.  "Also, fireworks should not be readily available to tempt the curiosity of young children. Keep fireworks stored in a secured location to prohibit their access. Most importantly, talk about safety.  Summer weather conditions make grasses and other vegetation dry and vulnerable to fire.  Use care in selecting the area where you will be discharging fireworks."

Fireworks safety tips from the Bellingham Fire Marshal

Don’t wait, talk to your kids about fireworks and safety.  Educate every member of your family about the following 3 B’s:

Before Lighting Fireworks—"Be Prepared!"

Purchase only legal fireworks, available at licensed stands.  Purchase only the quantity that you will use.  Ensure the safety of pets.  Keep a bucket of water nearby in which to place all used fireworks.  Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out stray sparks.  Clear a level area away from things that can burn.  Know the emergency number to call for your area, your address/location, and basic first aid.  Teach your children to "stop, drop, and roll" if their clothes catch on fire.

When Lighting Fireworks—"Be Safe!"

Only adults should light fireworks.  Use eye protection, wear safety goggles.  Light one at a time and move away quickly.  Keep spectators at a safe distance.  Use only outdoors, away from anything that can burn.   To prevent injuries, follow the directions on the label carefully.  Be considerate of your neighbors, family pets and your environment.

When Finished — "Be Responsible!"

Clean up all debris when finished.  Duds can be dangerous; if a fireworks item does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water.  Make sure unused fireworks, matches and lighters are out of sight and reach of children.

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedoms. Please, "Be Prepared", "Be Safe", and "Be Responsible" when using fireworks.

More information about fireworks safety


Date Updated: Jun 29, 2011

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