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No Fireworks Related Injuries or Major Fire Losses this Fourth of July

July 11, 2012

For more information contact:
Mark Peterson
, Fire Chief/Emergency Services Administrator, Fire & Emergency Services 425-430-7000
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

RENTON: Over the course of the Independence Day holiday this year no fireworks related injuries were reported and no major fire losses occurred in Renton, with the exception of one fireworks related fire that occurred on July 6 and resulted in damage to a detached garage.

Residents are reminded that discharging personal fireworks at any time within the City of Renton is illegal and can be extremely dangerous to both people, pets and property.

Each year in preparation for the Independence Day holiday, the city works to educate the public regarding the personal fireworks ban in Renton. A week prior to July 4 this year, the city produced and distributed multi-lingual brochures and posters to apartment complexes and retail outlets throughout the city, including nine retail fireworks stands just outside the city limits. On July 4, the city dispatched teams of Renton Fire & Emergency Services (RF&ES) fire inspectors to enforce the fireworks ban.

Fire inspectors investigated 87 fireworks complaints and made 47 contacts during the Independence Day holiday, issued a number of monetary citations, and confiscated over 50 pounds of illegal fireworks that have been delivered to the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad for destruction.
One difficulty faced by RF&ES was the fact that people setting off fireworks would see or hear the city’s fire apparatus coming down the street and stop shooting off their fireworks, only to start again when RF&ES personnel left the area. Inspectors responding to complaints were occasionally unable to locate the activity or found the discharge of fireworks occurred outside the city limits.

In addition to the teams of fire inspectors, RF&ES personnel also staffed the Department Operations Center, assisting Valley Communications (Valley Com) with fireworks complaint calls to minimize the impact on Valley Com’s ability to respond to other emergency calls. The department began receiving fireworks complaints at around 10 a.m. the morning of July 4.