State Fire Marshal offers advice on disposal of unused and used Fireworks

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State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy reminds residents that used fireworks can leave behind a great deal of debris.

“If you blow it up, clean it up,” Duffy said.

Proper cleanup of firework debris can help reduce the risk of an injury or fire from happening. If you have unused consumer fireworks, it is best to discharge the remaining fireworks during the legal discharge dates for your community.

The following are suggested tips for proper disposal:

Used Fireworks:

  1. Clean up all fireworks debris.
  2. Submerge used fireworks in a bucket of water for fifteen minutes to ensure they are cooled down and there are no smoldering embers that can start a fire.
  3. Double wrap the soaked fireworks in plastic bags for disposal in your household trash.
  4. It is best to dump the remaining water on the ground, selecting an area where it will not produce surface runoff into the municipal water system.
  5. Do not put used fireworks that have not been soaked into a paper or plastic bag, as this could lead to a fire starting within the bag.
  6. Return to your fireworks discharge area the next morning to clean up any remaining firework debris—things can be easily overlooked in the dark.

Unused Fireworks:

  1. Outside of the legal discharge dates, contact your local law enforcement agency on a non-emergency number to see if they collect unused fireworks for disposal.
  2. Check with a Public Display Company to see if they can use the fireworks in a display show. To find a list of Public Display Companies go to
  3. If you find a homemade device or illegal explosive device, call 911 for instructions. Do not handle or move the device.

For more information about fireworks safety, public fireworks displays and the fireworks laws for your area, check the Celebrate Safely website at

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4 Responses to “State Fire Marshal offers advice on disposal of unused and used Fireworks”
  1. Burien Local says:

    Lake Burien and Three Tree Point will have a lot of clean up. I pick up left overs for the next 2 months as it washes ashore. How can it be legal to dump all that crap in the Puget Sound? Oh ya they have a Permit from Burien City to pollute,and blow up stuff.

  2. Lee Moyer says:

    The sponsors of the Lake Union display coordinate with the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance every year on a July 5 Lake Union Sweep to clean up the debris. They get hundreds of pounds of mostly fireworks debris from under docks, between houseboats, etc. using kayaks and support boats.
    It seems like a clean up plan should be part of a permit requirement.

  3. Calcato73 says:

    Please please please clean up the fireworks litter after setting them off. The chemicals are all SO toxic, & runoff goes right into the Lake, and the Sound, and our groundwater. Pleeeeeze keep our water clean– it’s a precious resource.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      You are correct. I should have noted that the clean up is for the paper and plastic debris. The chemicals are rinsed off directly into the body of water over which the “professional” display operates. However, since the chemicals are not visible they are not a public relations issue and not a concern for the event producers. It is not the litter that kills the coho salmon in Miller Creek before they can spawn.

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