The Fourth of July is a highlight of every summer – a chance to fire up the grill, stock the cooler and enjoy a fireworks show, often from the comfort of a neighborhood backyard. But if you plan on lighting some firework fuses this Thursday, it’s important to remember what’s permitted under Oregon law and how to shoot fireworks safely.

Jeff Rusiecki of the Astoria Police Department and State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy have these tips for how to celebrate the Fourth of July safely and legally:

• Store fireworks out of children’s reach.

• Always read and follow label directions.

• Always have water handy.

• Soak used fireworks thoroughly in a bucket of water.

• Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly.

• Never re-light “dud”?fireworks. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak them in a bucket of water.

• An adult should always light fireworks – keep matches and lighters away from children.

• Use fireworks outdoors only.

• Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.

• Never hold or attempt to throw fireworks once lit.

•?Use only legal fireworks:?Oregon law forbids possession, use or sale of fireworks that fly, explode or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches in the air. Bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon.

• Use fireworks only where legal to do so: fireworks are prohibited on all beaches, State Parks and State or Federal Forest lands.

It pays to buy and use fireworks legally: Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $1,000 per violation, including possession of illegal fireworks and endangering life and property; offenders may also be arrested.


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