Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fireworks: A Treat for Some - A Torment for Others

The Fourth of July is a big deal here in Clark County and many of us love to celebrate our independence with lavish fireworks displays. Unfortunately,  the careless and perhaps unwelcome use of fireworks can lead to problems.  Quite often people will call 911 for help in resolving these problems.

Here are frequently asked questions about fireworks we get at our 911 center and some guidelines for when its best to call 911:

When are they legal??
  • July 3rd: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. in every city except Washougal.
  • July 4th: 9 a.m. until midnight everywhere except La Center. In La Center, it's 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • July 5th: they are legal in Battle Ground from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Ridgefield from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What about the big noisy ones?  Aren’t they illegal?

Nope. Even the fireworks that rattle your windows and set off your car alarm are legal.

What about the ones that shoot clear up into the sky? They must be illegal.

Nope - most of those are legal too

What if someone is shooting fireworks "dangerously"?

It depends on what you mean by dangerously.  Is life or property at risk?  If yes, call 911.  

My pets and livestock are being traumatized by the noise!

It’s a sad weekend for animals but most fireworks are legal. Contact your vet for solutions to keep them calm.

How do we get the fireworks nonsense stopped?

Contact your county commissioner or city council member.

So when can I call 911?
  • If fireworks are still going off after midnight (11 p.m. in La Center) 
  • If there is a fire 
  • If there is an injury 
  • If someone is recklessly using fireworks and putting lives in danger
  • If people are being reckless and putting others in danger 

Do Not Call 911 -
  • Because your neighbors are setting off fireworks
  • Because it is 10:30 PM and you need to get up early tomorrow
  • The noise is upsetting your animals

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