Are you getting excited for this weekend? Fourth of July is a very exciting time filled with traveling, socializing, barbecues, games, family and friend events, and fireworks. Since Independence Day is on a Saturday this year, many will likely be traveling on Friday (keep in mind this weekend’s traffic!), or will take the time to setup an immaculate fireworks display for the big night on Saturday. If you do either option, it is important to keep in mind several safety tips and regulations when handing fireworks:
The picture above shows consumer firework bans across the U.S. Washington State allows almost all consumer fireworks. Source: American Pyrotechnics Association, National Council on Fireworks Safety
It is important to keep in mind your surroundings when setting off fireworks. Also be sure to consult with local authorities to see if the type of fireworks you own are allowed to be set off.
Making campfires is another important aspect to keep in mind for your own safety this weekend. According to the Fire Marshal Services, there is a burn ban in effect for King County, except for small recreational fires. The Fire Marshal Services further states:
Recreational fires must:
- Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal;
- Grow no larger than three feet in diameter;
- Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches;
- Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire.
Please note – the use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbeques would continue to be allowed under the ban. For properties located within cities, please contact your local jurisdiction for requirements.
Source: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/FireMarshal/BurnBanInfo.aspx, Updated June 25, 2015
The last factor one must keep in mind during Fourth of July Weekend is the use of sparklers. According to WWLP News, sparklers can get up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! This temperature is almost 2 times as much as the temperature required to burn wood, which certainly makes for a huge fire and safety hazard. While sparklers are often overlooked as lighthearted fun toys, these small sticks of snap, crackle, and pop are more hazardous than one imagines. Please use extreme caution and safety when handling sparklers, and provide even more supervision when given to youth!
We hope you all have a wonderful (and safe!) Fourth of July Weekend!
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P.S. There will be complimentary coffee and pastries at Magnolia Insurance Agency next Wednesday, July 8th, 9:30-11:30am! Come swing by; we would love to hear how you celebrated Fourth of July.