Fireworks Laws & Safety Tips
Island County allows the discharge fireworks 9 am to 11 pm July 3 - July 5 and 9 am to midnight on July 4.
Island County & State Parks
- All fireworks are banned in all Island County and state parks
- All fireworks are banned on federal land, including land managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Forest Service
- All fireworks are banned on public property, public streets, sidewalks, parking lots and school property
- All fireworks are banned on private property without permission, and from private property onto public property
- Possession or discharge of certain fireworks including firecrackers, rockets, M-80s, dynamite and all homemade fireworks is illegal.
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks. The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are not safe.
In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Over two-thirds (67%) of injuries took place from June 16 to July 16. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.
Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.
Fireworks Safety Tips - If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks
If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following National Safety Council tips:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks
- Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show.
Sparklers Are Dangerous
Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
Dos & Don’ts
- Alcohol or drugs and fireworks don’t mix
- Do be respectful of your neighbor’s property and any nearby pets.
- Don’t discharge fireworks out over a steep bank, wind can promote burning.
- Keep a 5-gallon bucket of water or a garden hose nearby
- Do not attempt to relight a “dud” firework
- Completely submerge and soak any faulty fireworks overnight in a bucket of water.
Community Fireworks Displays
The following are scheduled fireworks displays in Island County:
- Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce fireworks display begins after dusk and can be viewed from Windjammer Park.
Additional Fireworks Information
- For information on all unincorporated Island County fireworks regulations, see Chapter 908A of Island County's Code. (pdf)
- For statewide fireworks information, see this flyer from the Washington State Fire Marshal's Office (pdf)
- Fireworks Handle With Care infographic (pdf)