Home The Latest Oregon cracks down on illegal fireworks explosion

Oregon cracks down on illegal fireworks explosion

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Thursday, June 27, 2013

BY EMMA HALL | OB WEB EDITOR

06.27.13 Blog FireworksWith the 4th of July quickly approaching, many Oregonians are crafting barbecue menus, hanging red, white and blue bunting and preparing for their annual trek across the Columbia River for illegal fireworks. Oregon only allows fireworks that travel less than six feet on the ground or 12 inches in the air, but it’s a simple trip up to Washington to buy roman candles, bottle rockets or firecrackers.

The fireworks industry has been growing nationwide, with consumer sales of 185.5 million lbs. of fireworks worth $645 million in 2012, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. In fact, there has been a trend of state and local governments relaxing fireworks laws and prohibitions since 2000, the APA says.

Not so in Oregon, where fire departments hand down a $1,000 fine plus liability for any damages if you are caught with illegal fireworks.

Portland fire chief Erin Janssens launched a public service campaign against fireworks in 2012, partly a result of the high-profile Northeast Portland restaurant Aviary burning down July 4, 2011 after only 5 months in business (and taking 5 months and $1 million to rebuild).  Despite the campaign, Portland still saw 12 fireworks-caused fires and 35 fireworks-related injuries last year. It must be noted that although still a lot (a dozen is about the weekly average of fires Portland sees), 12 pales in comparison to the 55 firework-caused fires in Portland on July 4, 2004.

In her 4th of July safety message this year, Janssens warned against fireworks not only for fires and injuries but also for causing trauma to returning veterans, increasing the number of lost pets, and contributing to environmental pollution.

Perhaps this has had an effect on the number of Oregonians patronizing Washington fireworks stands. Despite the overall rise nationwide, fireworks stands are slowly dwindling in Washington — there are 90 in Clark County this year, down from 93 in 2012. Statewide, stands are down 3.2%.

Washington laws are also tightening despite the APA’s assertions. In October, Vancouver decided to limit fireworks’ use to only one day (ending at midnight July 4) and sales to only three days, beginning in 2014. The Washougal City Council voted in May to limit the sale of fireworks to six days a year, down from 13, also beginning in 2014. If the nationwide trend is towards more lax fireworks laws, the Pacific Northwest seems to be dissenting.

Emma Hall is web editor for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Creating a culture of compliance

Business tips
Thursday, June 19, 2014
DataBY MONICA ENAND | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Nine tips for building habits among employees to respond when needed.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS