Fireworks are a traditional way to celebrate some holidays, but they mean anything but a party for some people, animals and properties. Fireworks can be noisy and an extreme fire hazard.Please be mindful of people in your neighborhood who may be sensitive to loud noises, due to PTSD or other conditions. Especially combat veterans, who deserve our every comfort after their service, can be impacted by the sounds and sights of illegal fireworks. Also many pets are lost each year due to reactions to fireworks.
You can help your neighbors. This year, we are asking your help to get a list of locations within the city of Eugene that have had illegal fireworks in the past. This will help us deploy prevention and education resources ahead of time so people are aware of the law and the impacts of illegal fireworks on combat veterans, pets, and fire danger. We do have a list of calls from last year, and your information can make our prevention efforts more extensive. Our goal is prevention.
How to participate:
If you know of an address within the city of Eugene where there have been illegal fireworks in the past, please call the tip-line at 541.682.8888, between today, Tuesday, June 27, and Friday, June 30. Leave a message for us with the address of the prior illegal fireworks. We will not provide a call back and will not need your name or any other information. This line is only for gathering information. We understand that June 27 through June 30 is a small window of opportunity to gather this input, but it is important to prevention. The line will not be used after June 30, and will not be used to respond to in-progress illegal fireworks or loud party calls.
Crime Prevention specialists and Eugene Police volunteers will be out in neighborhoods, going out to parks, and visiting other highly frequented places in Eugene in order to share information about illegal fireworks and prevention, as well as to promote the Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day on Sunday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2nd and Chambers’ parking lot. The 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 (call 541.682.5111 to schedule). Do NOT take fireworks to a police or fire station.
Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers for the July 4 holiday. Fire crews will patrol neighborhoods in their response areas on July 4, to note and report illegal fireworks activity. Police will respond proactively when they see or hear illegal fireworks. To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111.
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. Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers for the July 4 holiday. They will respond proactively when they see or hear illegal fireworks. To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111.
BACKGROUND FIREWORKS INFO
People often ask 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 has a base fine that 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.
Information about fireworks has been sent out through media/social media, Neighborhood Watch groups, Neighborhood Associations, and fireworks vendors. ###