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The original item was published from 6/23/2015 8:02:08 AM to 6/23/2015 3:48:51 PM.

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Posted on: June 23, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Fireworks - Keep it Safe, Keep it Legal

Fireworks go on sale today and this will be year two for enhanced prevention, education and enforcement regarding illegal use of fireworks in Eugene. This is in response to increasing complaints of illegal fireworks use and their impact on veterans, pets, and fire safety.

Eugene Springfield Fire and Eugene Police and the Metro Explosive Disposal Unit will be taking steps to reduce the volume of unlawful displays, including through public service announcements, education and enforcement. The goal is to raise awareness and reduce illegal fireworks hazards.
Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers on Friday, July 3, though Saturday, July 4. They will respond proactively when they see or hear illegal fireworks. To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111.

Fire crews will patrol neighborhoods in their response areas on July 4, to note and report illegal fireworks activity.

Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day will be on Sunday, June 28, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 2nd and Chambers. This event is only open to private individuals, not commercial parties.
If someone misses this event, there is a year-round process that is by appointment only:
• Make an appointment by calling 541.682.5111.
• Do NOT take fireworks to a fire station or police department
Note, last year people asked questions about sparklers. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website information states that wood core sparklers are considered legal retail fireworks and as such, would be subject to the new code. The 10-inch wire core sparklers are considered an unclassified item and not a firework and can be sold and used throughout the year.

More info at Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm

What are Legal Fireworks?
Legal fireworks in Oregon can be sold from June 23 through July 6 of each year. These include fountains, spinners and wheels available at retail fireworks outlets. Additionally, legal fireworks produce only smoke, sparks or fire but DO NOT explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air more than 12 inches or travel more than six feet on the ground. When both legal and illegal fireworks are improperly handled, injuries and fire damage occur.
Illegal fireworks include but are not limited to, fire crackers, bottle rockets and roman candles, fly into the air, explode and behave in an uncontrolled and unpredictable manner. Illegal fireworks are extremely dangerous and create extreme fire danger. Possession of illegal fireworks is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $2,500 and six months in jail.
Cherry bombs, M-80’s and larger and any legal or illegal firework that has been modified are considered an EXPLOSIVE DEVICE and should not be handled. Call the Eugene Police Department immediately and do not transport.

Reporting Illegal Fireworks
Report illegal fireworks use in progress: 541-682-5111
Safety info at: www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm

City Code Changes
On June 24, 2014, the City Council made two changes to City Code. They are:
1) Within Eugene, fireworks that are legal for retail purchase can be used only between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 and January 1. (City Code 4.934). Violation of the ordinance is punishable by jail and the base fine has been set at $250.
2) The use of illegal fireworks during anytime of the year, or the use of fireworks that are legal for retail purchase other than between June 23 and July 6 and December 31 and January 1, has been added to the Social Host ordinance ( 4.670).
The social host, or ordinance on unruly gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance. For more information: SOCIAL HOST
Information about fireworks has been sent out through media/social media, Neighborhood Watch groups, Neighborhood Associations, and fireworks vendors. ###

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