Independence Day is just around the corner and West Pierce Fire & Rescue wants the community to celebrate safely. Each year thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – fires, devastating burns, other injuries, and even death.
The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home – period. Attend a public fireworks display and leave the lighting to the professionals. The following events and displays are located in Pierce County:
- JBLM Freedom Fest at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums
- Steilacoom’s Grand Old Fourth of July on Lafayette Street, Downtown
- DuPont’s Fourth of July Celebration at Patriot’s Landing
- Tacoma’s Freedom Fair at the Ruston Way Waterfront
- Tacoma Rainiers have fireworks following Friday night games as well as on July 3rd
For those who choose to discharge fireworks, the following questions will highlight what you need to know.
Are fireworks legal in my area?
Fireworks are legal in Lakewood and University Place. It is illegal to sell, possess or discharge fireworks in Steilacoom.
When can I discharge fireworks?
City of Lakewood
July 3rd – July 5th from 11am to 11pm
City of University Place
July 4th from 9am to midnight
Town of Steilacoom
It is illegal to discharge fireworks at any time
Is there an age limit to purchase fireworks?
In Washington State it is unlawful to sell fireworks to any person under 16 years of age. It is the responsibility of any seller of fireworks to obtain and/or require proof of age of any consumer at time of purchase.
What type of fireworks are permitted?
Permissible consumer fireworks within the City of Lakewood specifically include dipped sticks and sparklers, ground and hand-held sparkling devices, cylindrical or cone fountains, wheels, ground spinners, filter sparklers, smoke devices, helicopters, roman candles, mines or shells and illuminating torches. Within the City of University Place, permissible consumer fireworks only include sparklers, cones and fountains, smokes and novelties.
What type of fireworks are prohibited?
The following fireworks are not legal within the District: firecrackers, sky rockets, bottle rockets, M-80’s, M-100’s or larger cherry bombs, tennis ball bombs, pipe bombs, tampered, altered or homemade fireworks.
The 4th of July can raise questions and concerns when it comes to safety. Here are some resources should you need to call someone for assistance.
If there is a code enforcement issue or concern related to fireworks, such as tall grass or improper sales, please contact:
West Pierce Fire & Rescue
Jennifer Hales, Public Safety Administrator
To report the use of illegal fireworks or discharging fireworks outside of the designated dates or times, please contact South Sound 911’s non-emergency dispatch line at 253.798.4721.
As always, if there is a fire or emergency,
dial 9-1-1 immediately.
To view a copy of the municipal codes within the District, please note the following links:
City of Lakewood – Fireworks ordinance (08.68.000)
City of University Place – Fireworks ordinance (9.20)
Town of Steilacoom – Fireworks ordinance (15.20.075 – 15.20.078)
Adult supervision around fireworks is important. Only adults should light fireworks and handle matches and lighters. Set family boundaries and talk with children about celebrating safely. Use care in selecting the area for discharge of fireworks, and the type of fireworks appropriate for that area. Weather conditions make grasses and vegetation dry and vulnerable to fire.
Before you light fireworks:
Use legal fireworks, available at licensed stands within the District
Store fireworks out of children’s reach
Keep pets safe indoors
Always keep water nearby
When lighting fireworks:
Only adults should light fireworks
Only use outdoors
Do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand
Protect your eyes
Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
Never relight a “dud”
After you finish:
Soak used fireworks in water
Be considerate – clean up used fireworks
Keep matches and lighters away from children