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Be aware of your own pets and your neighbors' and try to limit the quantity and length of time fireworks will be set off.

As we prepare to commemorate our country's independence on July 4, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue urges residents to have a heightened awareness of how fireworks impact veterans and pets.

Fireworks produce sounds similar to gunshots, which can cause physical and mental distress to those who have experienced combat.

Response to traumatic events vary from person to person, but everyone should be mindful and respectful of those who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Keep in mind that loud fireworks affect the brave men and women who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms.

TVF&R Capt. Andrew Klein, who served as a chief warrant officer with the Army National Guard, said: "Unexpected and random loud noises can cause combat veterans to become anxious or initiate a fight-or-flight response. A planned community fireworks display is much more tolerable because it is predictable and is a patriotic-themed celebration of our country."

Fireworks also tend to frighten pets and farm animals. The loud noises can cause them great anxiety and stress, since they are unable to comprehend what is going on.

If you insist on setting off fireworks, be aware of your own pets and your neighbors' and try to limit the quantity and length of time fireworks will be set off.

Instead of lighting your own fireworks, attend a professional display.

Upcoming fireworks displays

Cook Park, 17005 S.W. 92nd Ave., Tigard

North Plains, 32055 NW North Ave.     

Oak Hills, 2400 N.W. 153rd Ave., Beaverton

Willamette Park, 1100 12th St., West Linn

Summer weather is also here, which means an increased risk in fires. TVF&R offers up the following fireworks safety tips to ensure you have a safe holiday.

Keep it safe

If you intend to use fireworks, keep them legal and safe.

Just because some fireworks are legal, doesn't mean they're 100% safe. This includes sparklers. They can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees — wood burns at 575 degrees, while glass melts at 900 degrees.

  • Only adults should light or handle fireworks. Supervise children at all times.   

    n Use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface, away from buildings, vehicles, and vegetation.     

  • Never pick up or try to re-light a "dud."   

  • Never alter fireworks or make your own.    

  • Have a hose nearby in case of fire and place "spent" fireworks in a metal bucket with water.

    Reporting firework incidents

    Call 911 to report a fire or medical emergency; to report a nuisance or concern about illegal fireworks, call the nonemergency number, 503-629-0111.

    These situations will be logged, passed on to local law enforcement, and responded to as resources allow.

    P

    enalties for misusing fireworks

    Law enforcement agencies enforce criminal laws related to the use of illegal fireworks in Oregon.

    Under Oregon law, officers can seize illegal fireworks and issue criminal citations, including reckless burning, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and more with fines up to $500 per violation.

    People can also be held civilly liable for damages resulting from improper use of any fireworks — legal or illegal.

    — Tualatin Valley

    Fire & Rescue


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