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Yakima County Fire Marshal's Office gives tips on staying safe this 4th of July

Yakima Fire Marshal's office offers tips to keep you safe during the 4th of July weekend

YAKIMA, Wash.- Firework stands are officially open, but as you stock up on supplies you should also read up on safety tips and local bans.

In most of Yakima County fireworks are illegal to sell, use, or discharge.

"You can have up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail as well that goes along with that, just to light off a firework… I'm not sure that it's worth it," said Chris Pederson with Yakima County Fire Marshal’s Office.

An even heftier price to pay is you and your family's safety.

"The fireworks aren't made as safe as they were years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, so they have that potential to blow up in somebody's hand and cause damage to them for the rest of their lives,” said Pederson.

Many of you out at Franklin Park shared your own stories of fireworks gone wrong, some of you even admitting your own misuse.

One teen sharing his experience with a Roman Candle firecracker.

“I had one and I lit it and I didn't know it was lit and I just started pointing it and hit my brother," said Jeffrey Lee Brooks Jr., giving an exaggerated wink as he claimed it was an accident.

Others say they were merely victims of firework mishaps.

"It was one of those that stand up and you light it. Well it fell over and started spinning and shooting fire everywhere and it shot me in the leg, so I got a pretty bad burn from that," said Rachel Evans.

"I've only lit the little red ones inside the bottle with water and saw it light, but there was one time I lit one of those things that stick in the ground and it didn't pop the first time so I went to go get it and it flung up and almost hit me," said Anthony Cabral.

Some strong testaments for Yakima County's ban.

If you are buying fireworks this year, make sure you dispose of any unused fireworks at the end of the season.

"They're not safe to keep in a plastic bag, the static electricity can actually set them off and cause damage, burn a house down, or hurt or kill somebody,” said Pedersen.

But to ensure the safest holiday, you can simply leave it to the professionals by checking out a public firework display in your area.

Yakima County Fire Marshal's Office shared the three B's of firework safety-

1. Be prepared- Have water nearby and put your pets indoors

2. Be safe- which means don't take any chances and only allow adults to light fireworks

3. Be responsible- clean up all firework debris

Now there are some exemptions to the County ban and honestly it’s a little confusing so to try and make it easier for you there is an attached photo at the top of this story from the County Fire Marshal's Office showing each city so you will know whether or not you can buy or discharge fireworks in your town, if there is a public display, and who you can call if you have any questions.


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