Renton RFA took a zero tolerance stance on fireworks this year. While fireworks within Renton city limits have been banned since 2005, in years passed, we have handed out warnings and asked people to cease lighting off their fireworks. These requests are often not followed.
This year, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Renton PD teamed up, patrolling within city limits to proactively find violators of the fireworks ban and confiscate fireworks on the spot. They reported that, in nearly every case, citizens were friendly and cooperative, and they surrendered their fireworks without incident. Only one community member refused to surrender their fireworks. They were the only person to receive a citation all evening.
When all was said and done, we collected 5x as many fireworks as the previous year. With the Fire Marshal and Renton Police patrolling and responding to complaints, crews were able to focus on fire and EMS calls. While 50 calls came in over the 24 hour period of the 4th of July, only five calls were related to fireworks – four fires and one EMS. Three of the four fires were grass fires and relatively minor in nature. The fourth was a roof fire that took place in an area of unincorporated King County where there is no fireworks ban. While the EMS call was fireworks related, we are happy to report the injured party still has all of their fingers.
Fireworks related fires are down 50% this year over last year and it’s absolutely in part because of the care and consideration of our citizens. Heeding the request of the voters and joining us, and the rest of the community, at the annual 4th of July Celebration to enjoy the professional fireworks show is the best thing one can do to enjoy fireworks while staying safe on the 4th of July. We thank everyone in the community who made safe choices about how you spent your holiday. We will continue to take a firm stance on fireworks. Wouldn’t it be great to reduce the number of fireworks related fires on 4th of July to zero?!