Stay safe this Fourth of July
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — With public fireworks shows canceled, more people than usual could be tempted to light fireworks at home this Fourth of July.
Discharging fireworks is banned in Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Woodway.
It is permitted on the Fourth from 9 a.m. to midnight in Monroe, Lake Stevens and Arlington, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Snohomish.
Fireworks are also allowed in unincorporated Snohomish County from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the Fourth.
It is illegal to use fireworks on public streets, parks, or parking lots. Private landowners must grant permission, and it’s forbidden to discharge fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Additionally, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited under stipulations for Phase 2 reopening of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales of “safe and sane” fireworks began June 28 but the number of fireworks stands continues to fall in unincorporated Snohomish County, which will ban fireworks beginning in 2021.
Thirty-two fireworks stand permits were issued for unincorporated areas this year, down from 34 last year and 49 in 2015, according to county Fire Marshal Michael McCrary.
People ordering fireworks online cannot have the goods delivered directly to their houses. The fireworks must be delivered to and picked up at a licensed and permitted fireworks stand during normal operating hours.
Legal fireworks are typically labeled “safe and sane” and sold at licensed stands. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles and sky rockets.
Also outlawed are altered fireworks, such as sparklers bound together in electrical or duct tape.
Penalties for having or discharging illegal fireworks vary from city to city but include confiscation of the illegal fireworks and a fine. Fines may also be invoked for failing to clean up fireworks litter.
In Snohomish, the fine for fireworks violations can be up to $500. In Monroe, it can be up to $1,000 and include 90 days in jail.
“(This year) presents some unique and complex challenges for the community and fire service,” said Everett Fire Chief Dave DeMarco. “Celebrating Independence Day is a fun and important part of our culture. For 2020, Everett Fire hopes our residents are able to gather their family and loved ones around them and keep everyone safe via the use of face coverings, social distancing, and without fireworks.”
The city reported no injuries and just one fireworks “incident” in 2019. It has banned the discharge of fireworks in city limits for more than a decade.
Conversely, fireworks calls for county firefighters rose to 1,122 in 2019, after dipping to 982 the year before. In 2017 there were 1,154 calls.
To report a fireworks violation, call 425-407-3999. Authorities ask not to dial 911 unless there’s an immediate threat to life or property.
For more information about fireworks in Snohomish County, visit www.snoco.org (keyword: fireworks).
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