PF&R: Keep your home safe from fireworks

If you are setting off fireworks yourself, light them on concrete or asphalt

Fireworks (KOIN, file)
Fireworks (KOIN, file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Given the hot and dry weather, there’s growing concern a stray spark from a firework could easily start a fire.

Portland Fire & Rescue said the concern is real, and there are ways homeowners can protect themselves this holiday weekend.

“Someone is going to go out there and light something on fire, without a doubt,” Derek Garcia, who lives in the Brooklyn neighborhood, said. “All the plants are dry, the grass is really dry, the trees are in bad shape and so fireworks season is of course upon us and we’re just going to have to be really careful.”

With conditions ripe for fast-moving grass or house fires caused by fireworks, KOIN 6 News wanted to know what you can do to protect your property.

Officials recommend watering your lawn, and continuing to do so until July 4. You should also soak decorative bark mulch.

“If they haven’t watered it at all, the sooner they can start watering the landscape the better,” Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Rich Tyler said.

Next, trim bushes on your property to make sure they aren’t touching your house to prevent the spread of fire. Clean leaves and pine needles off your roof and in your gutters.

“All it takes is one of those fireworks, a bottle rocket or a mortar that throws off the sparks into the air, then rolls down into the gutter,” Lt. Tyler said. “It can start a fire at the eaves line.”

If you are setting off fireworks yourself, light them on concrete or asphalt, and be sure to have a hose or bucket of water nearby.

Garcia said he’s already taken some of the recommended precautions to keep his family safe this holiday weekend.

“Cleaned off my roof, my home is surrounded by pine trees, so it’s constantly under pine needles,” he said. “But definitely do that, wetted the roof down and just try to keep the yard clear.”

Portland Fire & Rescue officials said, if you are going to set off a firework, make sure you do it at least 25 feet away from structures.

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