PACIFIC COUNTY - With fireworks retail stands opening this week, Pacific County Fire District 1 is asking citizens to celebrate safely. Grasses and other vegetation are already dry and vulnerable to fire.

Many people are unaware of how dangerous fireworks can be. Statistics collected from incidents in Washington state each year indicate the leading cause of fireworks injuries and/or fires is unsafe use of fireworks. The more traumatic injuries were caused by illegal fireworks or explosive devices. Of major concern is that children are unaware of how dangerous these illegal devices can be.

During 2003, there were over 1,300 fireworks-related emergency incidents in Washington state resulting in over $2 million in property loss. There was no adult supervision in 28 percent of these incidents. These statistics are compiled each year by the Washington State Patrol as reported to them by the various emergency service providers.

With celebrations near, follow this advice:

• Purchase only legal fireworks, available at licensed fireworks stands.

• 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.

• Know your address/location, and basic first aid.

• Be Safe when lighting fireworks

• Have a designated adult light all fireworks.

• Use eye protection. Wear safety goggles.

• Light one firework at a time, move away quickly, and keep spectators at a safe distance until the display is finished.

• Use only outdoors, away from anything that can burn.

• To prevent injuries, follow the label directions carefully.

• Do not shoot fireworks in or near dune grass. Be as far west (near the water) as possible.

• Be considerate of neighbors and the beach. Clean up all debris when finished.

• If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes and approach it carefully.

• Make sure all unused fireworks, matches, and lighters are out of sight and reach of children.

Fireworks may only be discharged during the following days and times:

June 30 - July 3 between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

July 4 - 9 a.m. and midnight

July 5 - 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

• A safe alternative to personal fireworks is to attend the Fourth of July fireworks displays being held in Long Beach and at the Port of Ilwaco.

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