2017 was a banner year for fireworks injuries and fires in Washington

Anyone who's ever launched a firework knows that "Point away from face" is a pretty good rule. Can't go wrong there. But with the recent report from the State Fire Marshal's Office on fireworks-related injuries, there are a few others that might be worth adding to the repertoire.

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According to the report, there were more than 345 fireworks-related incidents in 2017, including 83 fires and 262 injuries. Obviously, all of the injuries occurred after the fireworks were set off. No one hurt their back carrying a box of them, for instance.

The injuries were 11 percent higher than the 10-year average, and the 83 fires resulted in a total loss of $59,200. That’s about $713 of damage per fire, which is probably more than what each person spent on the fireworks, not that they need to reminded of that.

So what can you do to avoid being a statistic in next year’s Fire Marshal report? The office recommends keeping water nearby, cleaning up any fireworks debris, and only letting adults light them. And as amusing as it might be to watch your pets’ reactions to the fireworks (sheer terror), they suggest keeping them indoors. That probably means that you shouldn’t let your pets light them, either.

The few places that fireworks can legally be launched

Whenever police respond to such incidents, the first thing they likely point out is that the fireworks enthusiast shouldn’t be launching them anyway. That’s because fireworks are pretty much banned in all of King County, including Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton, among plenty other towns.

But they are allowed in some unincorporated areas of King County on July 4th from 9 a.m. to midnight, or in cities that regulate their use. Pierce and Snohomish counties are a little more lax.

Check out this fireworks ban list to find out the status of your community.

And remember, point the fireworks away from your face, and away from everyone else’s faces, too.