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Seattle Fire discourages the use of fireworks. Urges community to find safer ways to celebrate July 4th

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. A significant fire happened on July 4, 2020, in West Seattle where fireworks ignited dry brush in front of a four-story apartment building, 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.

Apartment fire caused by fireworks in July 4, 2020. Photo by the West Seattle Herald

The recent warm, 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 911 immediately after you are in a safe location away from the fire.

Remember, fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle. 911 call centers are inundated on the 4th of July with reports of fireworks-related injuries and fires. Because of that, please limit the use of 911 to only report life-threatening emergencies. For other issues, call the police non-emergency number 206-625-5011. Law enforcement and other first responder agencies will be busy with life-threatening emergencies and property crimes, so reports of illegal use of fireworks will be low priority for response.  As always, we are also unable to respond to any crime reports or reports of illegal use of fireworks sent via Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

If you have unused fireworks, you can safely dispose of them at drop-off boxes located at each Seattle Police precinct. Have a safe and festive Independence Day!