Safety tips for setting off fireworks this summer

As Independence Day approaches next month, it's important to keep in mind some basic safety tips when setting off fireworks.

On Monday, a 14-year-old boy lost his left hand and injured his right while playing with fireworks in Federal Way, according to firefighters. 

The use and sale of consumer fireworks are now prohibited in both Seattle and unincorporated King County after a ban was signed by King County Executive Dow Constantine in 2021.

Instead, those residents are encouraged to attend licensed, professional fireworks displays. 

"We can have fun and keep each other safe by keeping fireworks out of our neighborhoods and in the hands of professionals who can put on a fantastic and inspiring show for everyone to enjoy," King County Councilmember Joe McDermott said in a press release reminding residents of the fireworks ban. 

However, if you do plan on legally setting off fireworks, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has some basic safety tips to help prevent firework-related injuries:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Don't light up any fireworks near buildings, houses, trees, dry fields or any other place that could catch fire. 
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. 
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire. After fireworks finish burning, douse the device with plenty of water before discarding it.

"It’s up to us, as neighbors and community members, to ensure no children go to the hospital, no houses are burned, and no pets are lost in the name of celebration," said McDermott.