If you have illegal fireworks at your home, there is an opportunity for you to get rid of them without getting cited. Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day will be on Sunday, July 1, 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. Do NOT take fireworks to a police or fire station.
Fireworks are a traditional way to celebrate some holidays, but they 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.
Fireworks go on sale June 23. Consumer fireworks discharges within the Eugene city limits are restricted to July 3 and 4, and December 31 and January 1. Public (commercial displays are allowed July 3-5. Eugene Police will be staffing additional officers for the July 4 holiday, including officers detached for patrolling areas with high density of fireworks-related complaint calls and or visible displays of fireworks. Fire crews will patrol neighborhoods in their response areas on July 4, to note and report illegal fireworks activity. EPD crime prevention specialists will make contact at locations of reported illegal use from last year. They will further canvas in areas where an exact address was not known or provided. They’ll provide an educational flyer, which includes info on the amnesty event and will ask for voluntary compliance. They will begin this effort on June 15.
To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111. The base fine for illegal fireworks is $250. The social host ordinance also applies to fireworks. 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.
NEW THIS YEAR: The City of Eugene Information Services Division has developed an app called FireworksAlert that allows the public to snap a photo of illegal fireworks use, provide a description and submit it. The app records the information and geolocation from where the picture was taken. The compiled data we receive this year (within Eugene) will assist in identifying hot spots for future education and enforcement efforts.
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 May 14, 2018, the City Council made two changes to the City Code. They are:
Amended the ordinance concerning fireworks restrictions, amending sections 4.934 and 4.996 of the Eugene City Code, 1971.
4.934 - Fireworks Restrictions. In addition to restrictions on the sale, possession, use, detonation or explosion of fireworks under state law, it is unlawful to:
(1) Use, light, detonate or display any consumer fireworks anywhere in the city at any time except on December 31, January 1, July 3 or July 4.
(2) Use, light, detonate or display any display fireworks anywhere in the city at any time except July 3 through July 5, unless specifically authorized by the city manager or designee.
For the purposes of this section, “consumer fireworks” and “display fireworks” have the meanings given in ORS 480.111.
Subsection (8) of Section 4.996 of the Eugene Code, 1971, is added to provide as follows:4.996
Administrative Civil Penalty. (8) In addition to, and not in lieu of any other enforcement mechanism authorized by this code the city manager or designee may impose upon the person responsible for violation of section 4.934 of this code, an administrative civil penalty as provided by section 2.018 of this code.