COOS COUNTY — Folks throughout the county planning to use fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July are reminded by firefighters to be safe and responsible.
Coos Bay Fire Battalion Chief Steve Takis said it’s important that people follow the four “Be's” when it comes to using fireworks to prevent any injuries or fires from occurring.
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Following the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s recommendations, the four “Be’s” include “be prepared, be responsible, be safe and be aware.” The recommendations includes tips such as fireworks should be stored out of children’s reach, used only outdoors and then soaked for about 20 minutes after being used.
Folks should also be checking their fireworks to see if they are legal to use in the state, said Takis. Any firework that ejects balls of fire, explodes, flies more than 12 inches into the air or travels more than six feet off the ground is illegal to operate without a permit.
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Those with pets are also reminded to place them indoors as they are easily frightened by fireworks. It’s also advised by the Oregon State Fire Marshal to have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of a small fire breaks out.
“For the last reported five years through 2018, there were 1,264 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon recorded by the state’s structural fire agencies, resulting in more than $3.5 million in property damage,” said a press release by the Oregon State Fire Marshal. “During that same period, fires resulting from fireworks resulted in one death and 26 injuries.”
The information on the structural fire agencies do not include incidents that occurred on federal and other state lands, the release added.
While there have not been any reported fires caused by fireworks within the city limits of Coos Bay in the last couple of years, Takis said it's still important to take precautions and stay alert when using them.