Central Pierce to enforce fireworks safety, education

Staff writerJuly 2, 2014 

Though there are no city-sponsored fireworks displays in Puyallup on July 4, residents are allowed to discharge consumer fireworks within the city limits between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Friday.

Central Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Puyallup Police Department will partner on fireworks safety emphasis patrols on July 4.

“We will have two deputy fire marshalls partnered with two police officers out in two separate patrols,” said Ed Hrivnak, spokesman for Central Pierce. “Our intention is not to be the bad guy. It’s to do education. We’re not in the business of making arrests and handing out fines.”

That said, Hrivnak explained if an individual is found to be using an improvised explosive device or illegal fireworks purchased from a stand on tribal land, that individual may be subject to a citation or fine.

Hrivnak said IEDs are fireworks that are modified to get more explosive value. One example is a sparkler bomb.

“These are very dangerous,” Hrivnak said. “I’ve seen one house and a next door neighbor’s home’s windows blown out from these. One young adult male who threw a sparkler bomb had one impale his eye, and he lost his eye.”

In 2013, Hrivnak said emphasis patrols responded to 46 calls for service on July 4. One call involved an abandoned house that caught fire.

Hrivnak said every year an education on fireworks safety is required.

“The city of Puyallup is so close to tribal land,” Hrivnak said. “People think if fireworks on tribal land are for sale, then they’re legal to use anywhere.”

And that’s not the case. Bottle rockets are the most common fireworks sold on tribal land and the most commonly used outside of tribal lands, Hrivnak said.

“To be legal, you have to launch them on tribal lands,” he said.

Central Pierce is posting fireworks safety information on the department website and through social media channels. A public service announcement regarding fireworks safety will launch July 3 on Pierce County TV. “It will air through the weekend,” Hrivnak said. “As soon as it becomes available, Pierce County will make it available to all cities to post on their website.”

The Puyallup Police Department will also post fireworks safety information on its Facebook and Twitter pages, according to Captain Scott Engle. Residents can also visit cityofpuyallup.org for fireworks safety. To report illegal use or sale of fireworks, city residents are encouraged to call 253-841-5431.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew

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