BEND, OR -- Fireworks stands opened over the weekend, and with Independence Day less than a week away, many are already beginning to celebrate. Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe tells KBND News a few key tips can keep everyone safe. "If you're going to use consumer fireworks, make sure that you've got a nice, clear area, that you have a charged hose line ready, a bucket of water you can put the spent fireworks into overnight, and don't let your kids light them." He also suggests not picking up an unexploded firework; instead, make sure it's in a safe place and far away from trees, grass, buildings and people.
Howe also asks that residents stick to what's legal, "There's plenty of fireworks that are illegal, and those are fireworks that either fly more than 12 inches in the air, travel more than six feet, or explode. And, if they do any of those things, they're not legal in the state of Oregon." For those who do decide to use fireworks in a dangerous manner, Howe says you should be prepared to pay for the consequences, "That bottle rocket, or whatever they're lighting off, once the fuse is lit and it goes, they're responsible for anything that happens; and that includes the cost of suppression of fires, it includes any damage to somebody's house. There is a certain level of responsibility that people have to bear when they decide to use illegal fireworks."