The City of Vancouver would like to alert residents and visitors to the new fireworks law now in effect with the City limits. Starting this year, use of fireworks within the city limits is restricted to 9 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 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 2-4 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.
The City also wants to remind everyone 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.
In addition to standard enforcement, the Vancouver Fire and Police departments are teaming up as part of an enhanced enforcement effort this year and will be responding to fireworks-related complaints. Deputy Fire Marshals and Police Officers will be patrolling the streets during this fireworks season to verify compliance with the new law and will be issuing citations to violators.
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, citizens should call 911. People should NOT call 911 to report noise complaints on July 4 during legal use hours (9 a.m. to midnight). Responses will be prioritized based on current calls for service and available resources. Due to expected call volume, increases citizens should anticipate increased response times.
"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."
It is important to note that fireworks laws outside the City limits are different. To verify whether or not you are within the City limits, please use the City's online tool at: www.cityofvancouver.us/cmo/page/do-you-live-city-vancouver.
For more information about the City's fireworks ordinance and general fireworks safety tips, please visit: www.cityofvancouver.us/fireworks
Information courtesy: City of Vancouver