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Preventing fireworks fires

apartment building fire caused by fireworks
Photo courtesy of West Seattle Blog

Every year, the personal use of fireworks cause fires and injure people in the Seattle area. In 2022, there were over 500 fireworks-related fires and injuries reported to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The Seattle Fire Department responded to 58 fireworks-related incidents in 2023.

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.

Warmer weather 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).