Eugene Police and Eugene Springfield Fire have been working on education surrounding the use of fireworks. EPD operated a tip line for residents of the city of Eugene to call to advise of addresses within the city limits where there had been illegal fireworks in the past. There were a total of 127 calls through June 30, when the line was collecting tips. Eugene Police crime prevention specialists and EPD volunteers were 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.
Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day
2017 - Approximately 150 pounds
By comparison in 2016 - Approximately 50 pounds
The event this year netted approximately 150 pounds of fireworks, triple the turn-in results from last year. Three Metro Explosive Disposal Unit members worked the event, with the first participant rolling in just after the awning was set up. Around 17 people came in throughout the day to turn in the fireworks, ranging from sparklers to 2-inch mortars. The last person pulled in just shy of closing time at 4 p.m. with another four boxes of fireworks.
Eugene Police staffed additional officers for the July 4 holiday and seized an additional 130-150 pounds of fireworks during fireworks patrols (over and above what was collected during the amnesty event). Fire crews were also patrolling neighborhoods in their response areas on July 4, to note and report illegal fireworks activity. Statistics for the days leading up to and including July 4 are as follows:
July 1 – 17 calls for service
July 2 – 13 calls for service
July 3 - 24 calls for service
July 4 2017 - 77 calls for service (compared with 82 calls for service in 2016)
As fireworks that are legal for retail purchase can be used between June 23 and July 6, please continue to 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.
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.
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