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Klamath Falls
July 24, 2024

While the Oregon State Fire Marshal Urges Oregonians to Keep Fireworks Use Legal and Safe, It’s Important to Think About Pets and Fireworks Too

Fireworks went on sale Sunday 6/23, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal is reminding everyone to “Keep it legal, keep it safe” The 2024 fireworks retail sales season runs through July 6 in Oregon. The state fire marshal would like everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use, where fireworks can be used, and how to use them safely.

“We ask Oregonians to be responsible if they plan to use fireworks as part of their celebrations,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Johnston said. “Every year, we see fires and injuries because of improper use of fireworks or illegal fireworks. Our message is simple: keep it legal and keep it safe.”

To reduce the risk of starting a fire, some local governments in Oregon have firework sales or use restrictions in place. Oregonians are asked to check their local regulations and follow them where they live or where they may be traveling to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Consumer-legal fireworks can only be purchased from permitted fireworks retailers and stands. State regulations limit where those fireworks may be used, including public lands and parks. The possession and use of fireworks are prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, on state beaches, in state parks, and in state campgrounds. Fireworks are also prohibited on many private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

For those who purchase legal fireworks, fire officials encourage everyone to practice the four Bs of safe fireworks use:

  • Be prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks. Never use fireworks near or on dry grass or vegetation.
  • Be responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Please wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak spent fireworks in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be aware: use only legal fireworks in legal places.

Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the state fire marshal. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damages. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal has resources about the sale and legal use of consumer fireworks, retail sale permits, and state rules for firework use and enforcement activities to its website.

We also want to remind you that while many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing colors of fireworks, they can be terrifying, overwhelming⁠ and hazardous for both wild and domestic animals.

On the Fourth of July, many animals become so frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks that they run from otherwise familiar environments and people, and sadly become lost. They may also suffer devastating or even fatal health effects from the stress. This is the time of year when shelters are overloaded with lost pets.

The sudden bright flashes and sounds can also cause wild animals to run into roadways, resulting in more car accidents than normal. Wildlife rehabilitation centers are often flooded with traumatized, injured and orphaned wild animals after the holiday.

Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through windows or door screens. You should also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the chip is properly registered with your current contact information.

Tips from The Humane Society of The United States for keeping pets and wildlife safe and happy during seasonal celebrations

Here are a few simple ways to keep both pets and wildlife safe during festivities from the Fourth of July to New Year’s Eve and everything in between:

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks

Pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells. On the Fourth of July, and other days people are likely to set off fireworks, it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to soften jarring noises. If you’re unable to leave your pet unattended at home, keep them leashed and under your direct control at all times.

2. If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help

There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. You can also try our suggestions for helping your dog cope with loud noises. Keep your pets comfortable all year long by reading our holiday pet safety tips.

3. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities

Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke.

NEVER leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. The temperature outside may be a balmy 72 degrees, but the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour.

Also remember that hot pavement can be dangerous to unprotected paws; if it’s too hot for you to hold your hand to the ground for five seconds, it’s not safe for your dog to walk on.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and ID tag

You should also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the chip is properly registered with your current contact information.

All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through windows or door screens.

If your dog went missing from the sound of fireworks – don’t panic. Immediately put out your dog’s favorite blanket, some food and water, and something that smells like you (a dirty sock or pillowcase).

If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately and follow the rest of our advice for finding your pet. If you find a lost pet, either take them to the address on their tag or bring them to a local animal shelter so they can be reunited with their family.

 

Our hope is everyone is considerate of others and careful because it’s fire season, as well as we all have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!

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