Hillsboro launches extra police, fire patrols this July 4
Hillsboro police and firefighters are asking residents to stay safe this Independence Day, and warn that residents caught launching illegal fireworks could face a costly fine.
Additional patrols of Hillsboro police officers and fire inspectors will be out on Wednesday, July 4, the city said Tuesday. According to the city, fireworks-related fires have been responsible for more than $2.1 million in property loss in the last five years.
Lighting illegal fireworks could result in a $500 fine per occurrence, city officials said, and people caught launching illegal fireworks could face criminal charges of reckless endangering or disorderly conduct.
"In addition, your fireworks, legal or not, may be confiscated if they have been used improperly or are threatening property," the city said in a statement on Tuesday.
Oregon law prohibits people from owning or launching illegal fireworks such M-80s, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers and any fireworks that fly, explode or shoot projectiles. Firefighters warned that homeowners' insurance may not cover damages resulting from knowingly using illegal fireworks or improperly using legal fireworks.
In Hillsboro, it is also illegal to launch fireworks on public property, such as city parks or at local schools, without a permit.
Residents planning to launch fireworks on July 4 are asked to take the following precautions:
• Children under 12 years of age should not handle fireworks. Teens from 13 to 18 should be supervised.
• Ensure one adult is supervising all fireworks activities all the time.
• Keep a bucket of water or charged water hose to douse duds. Never pick up a dud. It could still explode.
• Dispose of spent fireworks in a metal bucket filled with water.
• Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees and can cause severe burns. They are not for small children.
• Use legal fireworks on hard or paved surfaces away from dry vegetation or trees.
• For maximum safety of your family, attend a community fireworks display presented by professionals.