New law in Vancouver restricts firework usage

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A new law in Vancouver restricts the usage of fireworks within the city limits for the Fourth of July.

City officials said that starting this year, use of fireworks within the city limits is restricted to 9 a.m. to midnight on July 4.

In 2012, after months of debate, exploration of options and citizen input, the Vancouver City Council voted to change the existing city ordinance on fireworks, restricting sales dates to July 2 to July 4 and restricting use to July 4 only. Washington state law requires 365 days’ notice for changes to fireworks ordinances, which is why the new city ordinance went into effect this year.

City officials also reminded residents that it is illegal to use fireworks in a public park without a permit and fireworks buyers must be at least 16 years of age.

Individuals who use fireworks inside the city limits on days other than July 4 may be subject to fines starting at $250. Fines for use of illegal fireworks begin at $500.

For complaints related to use of fireworks outside of the allowed hours, hazardous use of fireworks or use of illegal fireworks inside the city limits, police said citizens should call 911.

However, authorities said people should not call 911 to report noise complaints on July 4 during the legal use hours: 9 a.m. to midnight.

Fireworks laws outside Vancouver’s city limits are different.

To verify whether a property is within the city limits, visit the City of Vancouver’s website.

On Monday, the Vancouver fire Department demonstrated just how explosive fireworks can be to serve as a safety warning to those preparing to use the devices on the Fourth of July.

“We also want to remind parents to ensure child safety through close and sober supervision of fireworks use, and by using only legal fireworks purchased from approved stands during the fireworks season,” said Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli. “It’s important for parents to be present when fireworks are ignited, and to make sure that the materials are lit in an open area away from homes, vehicles and any combustibles.”

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