Cheney Free Press -

Over 300 fireworks-related injuries and fires in 2013


There were 341 fireworks-related injuries and fires reported to the state Fire Marshal’s Office by fire departments and hospitals in 2013. According to a news release, the majority of these incidents occurred on July 4, with demographic trends indicating that the highest number of injuries were sustained by males 36 years and older.

The incidents of greatest concern:

• 102 fires resulted in $2 million in damage and property loss. A fire at a boat storage facility, housing multiple vessels resulted in $1.5 million in damages — or 75 percent of the total loss.

• 51 injuries were caused by devices that are illegal to own or possess in Washington State.

• Six sparkler bombs resulted in one amputation and caused trauma injuries to the arms, legs, face and torso. These devices are considered improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which are illegal to manufacture and possess. Injuries as a result of one of these devices include metal puncture wounds, burns, tearing of the hands, and trauma to the face, chest and legs.

“Never attempt to make your own fireworks,” state Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy said in the release. “Talk to your families about fireworks and safety. Be sure to set family boundaries. Only responsible adults should light fireworks. Always store fireworks in a secure location—making sure that they are out of reach and sight of curious children. Personal fireworks require personal responsibility.”

The Fire Marshall’s Office recommends using the three B’s of fireworks safety:

• Be prepared — Have water nearby and put pets indoors.

• Be safe — Only adults should light fireworks.

• Be responsible — Clean up fireworks debris.

The 2013 Fireworks-Related Injury and Fire Report is now available on the Fire Marshal’s website. For more information about fireworks safety, public fireworks displays and the fireworks laws for your area, check the Celebrate Safely website at://

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.


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