City of Moscow Encourages Fireworks Safety
June 28, 2018 (Moscow, Idaho) -- The Moscow Police and Fire Departments would like to remind the community of the safety practices and laws regarding fireworks as the July 4th Independence Day holiday approaches.
In Idaho, Non-Aerial Common Fireworks are allowed to be sold and used beginning midnight on June 23rd until midnight on July 5th. Non-Aerial Common Fireworks are defined as any fireworks such as ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes designed to remain on or near the ground and not to travel outside a fifteen foot diameter circle or emit sparks or other burning material which land outside a twenty foot diameter circle or above a height of twenty feet. These types of familiar fireworks are known as “safe and sane.”
Safety tips to consider this year when igniting “safe and sane” fireworks:
- Only use fireworks outdoors.
- Always have water handy (hose or bucket).
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
- Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
- Do not ever use illegal or homemade fireworks: They can kill you!
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage. In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries. On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Illegal fireworks are prohibited at any time and the use of these dangerous explosives may result in life-threatening injuries, extensive property damage, and out of control fires. Illegal fireworks are those commonly known as firecrackers, bottle rockets, cherry bombs, roman candles or other explosive devices that do not meet the definition of Non-Aerial Common Fireworks. Illegal fireworks are not available for purchase locally.
If you are caught discharging non-aerial common fireworks outside of the permitted dates or illegal fireworks at any time, your fireworks can be confiscated and you can be subject to a misdemeanor criminal charge that may result in a fine and or jail time. Please remember the fire danger and injuries fireworks can cause. According to the National Fire Protection Associations, on average over 8,500 injuries and 19,700 fires are reported annual as the result of fireworks.
The City of Moscow encourages citizens to follow these guidelines and enjoy a safe holiday.
Story Contact: Dan Ellinwood, Fire Inspector