Tis the season for fireworks

Cities and the county provide laws to help residents have a safe Fourth of July

This summer kicks off with Fourth of July events all around Covington and Maple Valley. With fun does come rules and regulations, along with closures.

The city of Maple Valley has a ban on fireworks, making it illegal to set them off. This ban with into effect on Dec. 15, 2016.

To keep community members safe and satisfied, the city is hosting its annual “Maple Valley Family Fourth” event at Lake Wilderness Park. It starts at 4 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m.

There will be activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a firework show at 10 p.m.

The Black Diamond Maple Valley Kiwanis Club will be selling fireworks in Black Diamond at 30741 3rd Ave, Black Diamond. The group will sell fireworks starting on June 28 until July 4 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The money will benefit local kids in Maple Valley and Black Diamond.

City Hall and other city offices will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday. Banks in the city will also be closed.

For the city of Covington, fireworks are legal within reason. Fireworks can only be set off within Covington city limits between 9 a.m. and midnight on July 4. Illegal fireworks include, but not limited to, firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles/rockets, pipe bombs and more. To get the full list of illegal fireworks, go covingtonwa.gov/covington/city_departments/uploads/Covington_Fireworks_Identification_Sheet.pdf.

Covington City Hall will also be closed on the Fourth, along with banks.

Different rules apply for those living outside of Covington, Maple Valley or Black Diamond city limits.

In King County, firework sales legally started at 12 p.m. on June 28 until 11 p.m.; then daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 4. No firework sales are allowed after the holiday.

Fireworks are illegal in the county except for certain holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Years Day. On the Fourth of July, fireworks may only be discharged between 9 a.m. and midnight.

King County has a list of fireworks rules and safety tips for residents looking to celebrate;

•You must be at least 16-years-old with picture identification to purchase fireworks.

•Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.

•Have a charged garden hose or fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

•Use fireworks under outdoor conditions only, away from homes, buildings, trees, dry grass, dry fields and wood piles.

•Avoid aerial fireworks, which are harder to control.

•Light one item at a time, move away quickly once lit and keep your distance.

•Dispose of used fireworks by first soaking them in water. It’s recommended to keep a bucket or water nearby at all times.

•Ensure the safety of pets. Use eye protection and clean up all debris by the end of the holiday.

•If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait a minimum of five minutes before approaching the device.

The Washington State Police Department has a list of legal and illegal fireworks for Washington residents.

Legal fireworks include;

•Cylindrical fountains – Upon ignition a shower of colored sparks, and sometimes a whistling effect, is produced.

•Helicopters/aerial spinners – A propeller is attached, which upon ignition, lifts the rapidly spinning device into the air. A visible or audible effect is produced at the height of flight.

•Cone fountains – Upon ignition, a shower of colored sparks, and sometimes a whistling effect, is produced.

•Smoke devices – A tube or sphere containing pyrotechnic composition that produces a white or colored smoke when lit.

•Roman candles – A heavy paper or cardboard tube containing pyrotechnic composition. Up to 10 “stars” are individually expelled when lit.

•Parachutes – Upon ignition, one or more parachutes are propelled into the air with stars, smoke and other effects being discharged as the parachute floats down.

•Wheels – Pyrotechnic device attached to a post or tree by means of a nail or string. A wheel may contain up to six “driver” units. When ignited the wheel spins, producing a shower of color and sparks.

•Mines/shells/cakes – A mine is an aerial device that shoots stars into the sky in the upward spray pattern. A shell is an aerial item that is fired into a sky when ignited. A cake is a dense-packed collection of mine/shell tubes that are fused together.

•Ground spinners – A small device similar to a wheel in design and effect. When placed on the ground and ignited it will shower sparks and color while rapidly spinning.

•Reloadable mortars – A shell consisting of a container, a life charge, a time fuse, a burst charge and stars / effects. The lift charge propels the shell out of the tube, igniting the burst charge at the right altitude, igniting the effects.

•Dipped sticks / sparklers – Stick or wires coated with pyrotechnic compositions that produce a shower of sparks when lit.

•Novelties – “Trick and novelty” devices mean any small firework device not classified as a “Consumer of Display” firework. This is includes “Snap and Pop” boxes and confetti bombs.

Illegal fireworks include;

•Firecrackers – A firecracker makes a single “pop” sound. These are legal only on Native American reservations.

•Sky rockets and missles – Similar to bottle rockets, a sky rocket is attached to a stick or has fins and may have a plastic cap. A missle will have fins rather than a stick. Once lit it ascends rapidly into the air where it explodes. These are only legal on Native American reservations.

•Bottle rockets – A firecracker type (tube) attached to a 12-inch long wooden stick. The stick is placed in a bottle and once lit will rise into the air before exploding. These are only legal on Native American reservations.

•M-80s/M-100s – Illegal since the 1970s, an M-80/M-100 can contain flash powder, black powder or a composition of materials that are sensitive to shock and can injure or kill people.

•Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) – A pipe bomb is an IED consisting of a tightly sealed section of pipe that is filled with an explosive material. The pipe provides containment, meaning a low explosive can be used to produce a large explosion. A tennis ball bomb is an IED that consists of a tennis ball filled with combustibles with a fuse that produces a loud explosion when lit.

•Altered fireworks – Sparklers that are bound together in duct tape or electrical tape to contain the ignition of the sparklers, providing a loud “whoomp” sound with a flash of light.

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