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Preventing fires caused by fireworks

Photo Credit: West Seattle Herald

Every year, the personal use of fireworks cause fires and injure people in the Seattle area. Last year, the Seattle Fire Department responded to 16 fireworks-related fires including two structure fires. One significant fire happened on July 4, 2020 in West Seattle where fireworks ignited dry brush in front of a four-story apartment building which then quickly extended to the top floor balcony. Fortunately, no one was injured, but several residents were displaced and the total estimated loss was $100,000.

The recent hot, dry weather significantly increases the risk for dry grass, bark, and brush fires. A firework can easily start a fire in these conditions.

Here are ways to reduce fires caused by fireworks near your home:

  • Remove branches, dry grass and anything that can burn from around your home.
  • Make sure tree branches are not touching your home.
  • Clear roof and gutters of pine needles and leaves.
  • Don’t leave cardboard or loose paper recyclables outside – make sure they are in a closed bin.
  • Keep a garden hose with nozzle hooked up and ready to use.

Also, make sure smoke alarms are working by pushing the test button.

If you experience a fire, please call 9-1-1 immediately after you are in a safe location away from the fire.

Remember, fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. If you want to report the illegal discharge of fireworks, please do not call 9-1-1, but instead use the non-emergency line for the Community Safety and Coordination Center (206-625-5011). On a historically busy weekend in the City, the use of 9-1-1 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only.