REMINDER: Fireworks are still illegal in Burien, and the fine is $125


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The City of Burien recently released a letter to residents, reminding all that fireworks are still illegal, and the fine for discharging them is $125.

Burien Police has scheduled extra officers, who will specifically be assigned to enforce violations of this ordinance.

“We are asking for your cooperation in advance an encourage you to attend a public fireworks display or travel outside of the city to purchase and discharge any fireworks,” the letter said.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

Dear Resident,

This letter is to gently remind our residents that the possession and discharging of all fireworks is banned in the City of Burien.

Our police department has scheduled extra officers who will specifically be assigned to enforce violations of this ordinance. Tickets will be issued and the fine is $125 in addition to confiscation of all fireworks. We are asking for your cooperation in advance an encourage you to attend a public fireworks display or travel outside of the city to purchase and discharge any fireworks.

If you have questions, you can contact our police operations commander, Captain Bryan Howard. He will be supervising all enforcement efforts and can be reached at (206) 477-2248 or by mailing [email protected]

The Mayor, City Council and City staff would like to wish you a safe and happy Fourth!

Sincerely,
Tony Piasecki
Interim City Manager

Here’s the city’s exact wording on BMC 5.30:

5.30.020 Sale of fireworks unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to offer for retail sale or sell any fireworks within the city. [Ord. 490 § 1, 2008; Ord. 267 § 4, 1999]
5.30.030 Permit required for public display of fireworks.

It is unlawful for any person to hold, conduct or engage in any public display of fireworks within the city without first having obtained and being the holder of a valid permit under the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 267 § 5, 1999]
5.30.040 Discharge of fireworks prohibited.

Except as authorized by a state license and city permit granted by the local fire official pursuant to RCW 70.77.260(2) (public display) or RCW 70.77.311(2) (use by individual or group for religious or other specified purpose on approved date and at approved location), no person shall ignite, explode or discharge any fireworks within the city. [Ord. 490 § 2, 2008; Ord. 267 § 6, 1999]
5.30.045 Possession of fireworks unlawful.

Except as authorized by a state license and city permit granted by the local fire official pursuant to RCW 70.77.260(2) (public display) or RCW 70.77.311(2) (use by individual or group for religious or other specified purpose on approved date and at approved location), it shall be unlawful for any person to control or possess any fireworks within the city. [Ord. 491 § 1, 2008]
5.30.050 Permit fee.

The annual fee for a “public display” permit for the public display of fireworks shall be $100.00, and shall be payable to King County Fire Protection District No. 2 or the North Highline Fire District, as appropriate. [Ord. 267 § 7, 1999]
5.30.060 Issuance – Nontransferable – Voiding.

Each public display permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid only for the specific authorized public display event, shall be used only by the designated permittee, and shall be nontransferable. Any transfer or unauthorized use of a permit is a violation of this chapter and shall void the permit in addition to all other sanctions provided in this code. [Ord. 267 § 8, 1999]
5.30.070 Application for public display permit.

Applications for a permit to hold, conduct or operate a public display of fireworks shall be made to King County Fire Protection District No. 2 or North Highline Fire District, as appropriate, at least 14 days prior to the scheduled event. Applicants shall meet all qualifications and requirements of state law regarding public display of fireworks and all fire and safety requirements in the standards for public display set forth below. [Ord. 267 § 9, 1999]

5.30.080 Standards for public fireworks displays.

All public fireworks displays shall conform to the following minimum standards and conditions:

(1) All public fireworks displays must be planned, organized and discharged by a state-licensed pyrotechnician;

(2) A permit must be obtained from the fire chief or designee prior to any display of public fireworks. The permit shall include the name of the applicant and his address; the name of the pyrotechnician and his address; the exact location, date and time of the proposed display; the number, type and class of fireworks to be displayed; the manner in which the fireworks are being stored prior to the public fireworks display; and shall include the name and address of the insurance company providing the bond required;

(3) A drawing shall be submitted to the fire chief or designee showing a plan view of the fireworks discharge site and the surrounding area within a 500-foot radius. The drawing shall include all structures, fences, barricades, streets, fields, streams and any other significant factors that may be subjected to ignition or that may inhibit firefighting capabilities;

(4) The fire chief or designee may require that a fire department pumper and a minimum of two trained firefighters shall be on site 30 minutes prior to and after the discharge of any fireworks;

(5) All combustible debris and trash shall be removed from the area of discharge for a distance of 300 feet in all directions;

(6) All unfired or undischarged fireworks shall be disposed of in a safe manner;

(7) A minimum of two 2A-rated pressurized water fire extinguishers and one fire blanket shall be required to be at the fireworks discharge site;

(8) The permit may be immediately revoked at any time deemed necessary by the fire marshal or designee due to any noncompliance, or weather conditions such as extremely low humidity or wind factor. The display may also be canceled by accidental ignition of any form of combustible or flammable material in the vicinity due to falling debris from the display; and

(9) Areas of public access shall be determined by the fire chief or designee and maintained in an approved manner. [Ord. 267 § 10, 1999]

5.30.090 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the sale and use of all fireworks except “toy caps,” and as is otherwise exempt pursuant to RCW 70.77.311 as now stated or as may be amended. [Ord. 267 § 11, 1999]

5.30.100 Chapter in connection with state law.

This chapter is intended to implement Chapter 70.77 RCW, and shall be construed in connection with that law and any and all rules or regulations issued pursuant thereto. [Ord. 267 § 12, 1999]

5.30.110 Enforcement.

The fire chief, or designee, is authorized to enforce all provisions of this chapter and, in addition to criminal sanctions or civil remedies, he may revoke any permit issued pursuant to this chapter upon any failure or refusal of the permittee to comply with the orders and directives of the fire chief or designee, and/or to comply with any provisions of this chapter or other laws or regulations. [Ord. 267 § 13, 1999]

5.30.120 Penalty for violations.

(1) “Civil infraction” has the meaning given that term by Chapter 7.80 RCW, as now or hereafter amended, and the Infraction Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (“IRLJ”) and any local rule adopted thereto by the King County district court, as they may be now or hereafter amended.

(2) Except as provided below, any person violating or failing to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of up to 90 days or imposition of a fine of up to $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(3) A violation of BMC 5.30.040 (Discharge of fireworks prohibited) shall be a Class 2 civil infraction and, upon a finding that a violation has been committed, the person committing such act shall be assessed an amount not to exceed $125.00, plus applicable statutory assessments. Such penalty is in addition to any other remedies or penalties specifically provided by law. For each act herein prohibited of a continuing nature, each day shall be considered a separate offense.

(4) A violation of BMC 5.30.045 (Possession of fireworks unlawful) shall be a Class 2 civil infraction and, upon a finding that a violation has been committed, the person committing such act shall be assessed an amount not to exceed $125.00, plus applicable statutory assessments. Such penalty is in addition to any other remedies or penalties specifically provided by law. For each act herein prohibited of a continuing nature, each day shall be considered a separate offense. [Ord. 491 § 2, 2008]

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Comments

24 Responses to “REMINDER: Fireworks are still illegal in Burien, and the fine is $125”
  1. Shari says:

    I appreciate the efforts of the City and law enforcement, but I’m pretty sure it won’t change anything. The miserable house-shaking bombs are already going off in my neighborhood. The days around the 4th are hellacious for wild animals, pets, and an awful lot of people, who would pack up and flee the war zone if they could, but either can’t afford to board and/or sedate their pets and pay for a hotel for themselves or don’t dare leave home for fear of the trees, grass, and buildings on their property going up in flames while they’re away. Are they still legal in Normandy Park? The sound waves don’t know they’re supposed to stop at the Burien City limits.

    Rate: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 8

    • Mike says:

      Normandy Park has more restrictive rules this year. It was previously pretty much a free-for-all. Now you are supposed to discharge them on the 3rd and 4th, only at certain times, and only on private property (no roadways, parks, public beaches, parking lots, etc.)

      I doubt we’ll see (or hear) much difference this year.

      Rate: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  2. MYOB says:

    Life is a risk. The Declaration of Independance was a huge risk. Celebrating it much less so. Use of fireworks is your own risk legally and safety-wise, just do so responsibly and safely.
    The number of actual serious incidents vs. the number who use them is actually quite small. Those that are overly sensitive and fearful of fireworks on the 4th of July should take measures to cope with it if they cannot leave.
    We as a society cannot elimate or outlaw all risks, only manage them.

    Rate: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 29

    • Lee Moyer says:

      There is nothing patriotic about annoying neighbors and terrifying pets with illegal fireworks. And it is intimidation, not independence, to suggest the neighbor is responsible to take measures (unspecified) to cope or to leave.

      Rate: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 16

  3. THERE IS NO ENFORCEMENT – PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THY WANT- BEEN GOIN’ ON FOR YEARS – I DON’T SUPPORT IT – JUST ENJOY IT IT’S TH FOURTH !!!!! PROTECT YOUR PETS.

    Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  4. THERE IS NO ENFORCEMENT – PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THY WANT- BEEN GOIN’ ON FOR YEARS – I DON’T SUPPORT IT – JUST ENJOY IT – IT’S TH FOURTH !!!!! PROTECT YOUR PETS.

    Rate: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  5. Herkybird says:

    Just curious, why were fireworks banned in the first place?

    Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    • Kathleen in Burien says:

      The reason fireworks need to be banned, is mostly the fire risk to homes and property. You get one bottle rocket landing on a roof, and up goes a $500,000 dollar or more house. Putting lives in danger as well. There were some homes just this year, but every year we hear of homes, property, and dry grass starting forest burns. There is just too much risk to life and property. Granted the noise and risk of losing a pet, or damage to ones own losing fingers or a hand are also a risk. But the big reason of course is the fire danger. And are summers are getting dryer and hotter each and every year. It will only get worse with the global warming. So those of you who fell it is ok to let off some fireworks, Think about your our your neighbors home perhaps burning down. Nobody wants that!!!

      Rate: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  6. MYOB says:

    What one calls an annoyance, another calls a celebration. Intimidation is telling people they can’t even have one day a year to celebrate the forth, because they are too fearful to join in, are overly sensitive to it or take measures to cope with it for one day a year.
    Yes, some dogs don’t like loud noises of any kind. One day a year will not kill them.

    Rate: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 21

  7. Clean it up! says:

    The 4th of July is more than fireworks to me. It’s a parade with a big dose of marching band music and a special picnic in the backyard or park with things like fried chicken, mom’s potato salad, hot dogs, burgers, baked beans, potato chips, watermelon and homemade root beer floats and strawberry short cake with ice cream and a cold beer or two for the adults. It’s some kids playing in a blow-up wading pool and/or the sprinkler on the lawn. And it’s a game of baseball with family and friends or the guys and gals in the neighborhood or that you work with. Some years it’s a day on Lake Tapps or a picnic at Salt Water State Park with walks on the beach with a sparkler or two. With all the great public fireworks displays in the evening, it’s easy to get a view of one or two great shows.

    Rate: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  8. Captain obvious says:

    The city should add a part of law the police get to pick one random personal item from each member of the party lighting off fireworks. Then burn the items to ash while saying ooh awww look at the pretty colors . Just kidding!

    Rate: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  9. jon says:

    Will the fine be used for reparations for the tribes whose land has been stolen?

    Rate: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  10. jon says:

    Will the fine be used for reparations for tribes whose land has been stolen?

    Rate: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  11. KateBB says:

    Ignorant comment, MYOB. One day a year CAN kill your pet. When stressed beyond their ability to cope, they can get spooked, run into traffic and become roadkill. So, you’ll then say ‘keep them inside.’ Times like these can also result in upset tummies – humans and animals. I have yet been able to teach any of my dogs the art of using the commode…….

    Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

    • Captain obvious says:

      Interesting thought of what could happen.
      Most dogs can sit in a room (basement if possible) with a radio on and be fine. Put down a couple of puppy pads or news paper just in case of a pile or puddle. A bowl of water and a small bowl of food.

      Cats are hard to keep inside especially if normally there a outside pet. But putting them in a room with a closed door. If you have a smart TV put youtube on with some bird videos or squirrel videos or turn a on radio to a low volume play some music. A few puppy pads in case they cant make to the littler box a small dish of water a small dish of food.

      Also make sure to check on your pets at least a couple times a hour. Maybe even sit with them pet them play with them for a few minutes. There first couple years they mite be a little freaked out. But after that they tend to get use to it. Some even start to like watching the fireworks.

      Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

      • MYOB says:

        I agree. A lack of conditioning is not an excuse to force everyone else to accomodate that deficiency.
        It also depends upon the breed. Hunting dogs don’t show the same level of sensitivity, as gunshots are little different than fireworks to them. Many working dogs are also not as sensitve and can be conditioned to become accustomed to it.

        But for a Fifi, a small high strung breed, they may not get used to any loud noises, so the 4th can be stressful for them. Those that own a Fifi, keep them inside for one day and keep them occupied and drown out the firewords with soothing classical music….

        Rate: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        • Clean it up! says:

          Strategies to safe guard pets actually have to go on for several days before the 4th and a few days after. This is also true for protecting one’s property from fire. Jerks will be jerks in the guise of patriotism, even knowing that there are vets who are traumatized in the same way ‘Fifi’ pets are by the near by firecrackers and booms. These jerks don’t acknowledge the people who are maimed and otherwise hurt each year by fireworks. They don’t acknowledge the house fires and other property damage. They throw firecrackers out of car windows and laugh at those they have scared. They don’t live by the law. They are ‘special’.

          Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

          • MYOB says:

            Those people are certainly not hiding behind patriotism, they are doing it because they can use the fact that fireworks, both legal and not are already being used, and it’s an excuse to wreck havoc. They are not a reason to ban it for everyone else. I would hope that the “extra officers” assigned are going after those people.
            Nevertheless the number of the type of incidents you describe is actually very small in proportion to the number of people doing it safely and responsibly. But fear is also stronger than facts or doing sometihing to mitigate it without blanket bans….

            Rate: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

            • Clean it up! says:

              Sorry MYOB it’s illegal, period.

              Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

              • MYOB says:

                Obviously. Last I checked there are still legal fireworks displays in many city and county parks that can mask the sound of illegal use.

                As the sound kand sight of them carries far and wide, And I would think Vets with PTSD and Fifi dogs would be just as disturbed by them. Yet no one is calling for elimination of that with a straight face.

                And yes, I know the difference, but it is a distinction without a difference in reality.

                Rate: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    • MYOB says:

      Tums also works for dogs…

      Rate: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  12. Lindsay says:

    These bombs keep going off on our street. Am I not allowed to enjoy being outside my own house? why is there no enforcement?

    Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    • Captain obvious says:

      King County Sheriff’s Office. For 24-hour non-emergency service please call 206-296-3311. If you need immediate help from the police, medics or fire department always call 9-1-1

      or call the fire marshal http://www.burienfire.org/fire-marshal.html

      Fire Marshal Ray Pettigrew
      (206) 209-4119 ext. 119

      Fire Inspector John Zilke
      (206) 209-4106 ext. 106

      Rate: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  13. Gk says:

    While there is always going to be people that use fireworks irresponsibly, I don’t see why that makes a blanket ban necessary. If you face the facts, fewer people get hurt by fireworks than golf. GOLF. Yes, they are “unnecessary” (as is golf), but let’s get real here. Many are irresponsible with alcohol (which is available 365 days a year to 2am) for instance, but we don’t ban that because it is generally believed that individuals should be allowed to make their own choices. Abuse your freedom, and you will be labeled a deviant by the law. It is my belief that fireworks should be the same. There will always be jerks that mess with people, but that isn’t exclusive to fireworks. Just because they scare you doesn’t mean they are as dangerous as you think. Firework related fires are actually far less common than other sources. Legal fireworks (at the state level) don’t include m80’s, and they haven’t since the early 60’s. Most (if not all) retail items are incapable of removing digits, but can cause burns obviously. Most of the people enjoying fireworks aren’t doing so to annoy you. They just want to have a little seasonal fun. While I agree that some items are probably too large for a neighborhood, I don’t think that hating fireworks is a requirement for adulthood. I personally go elsewhere to enjoy mine. But really, I think the nastiness is totally unnecessary. Firework lovers aren’t by default devious individuals looking to ruin your day and scare your pets (luckily my dog isn’t bothered.) I have responsibly used fireworks every year, and have yet to sustain an injury or destroy property.

    Rate: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1