Chapter 8.37
FIREWORKS*

Sections:

8.37.010    Definitions.

8.37.020    Acts prohibited without a permit.

8.37.030    Application for permit.

8.37.040    Investigation, report on permit application.

8.37.050    Fire chief may grant or deny permit – Conditions.

8.37.060    License required prior to issuance of permit.

8.37.070    Public display permit – Granted for exclusive purpose – Nontransferable.

8.37.080    Supervision of public displays.

8.37.090    Permit authorizes activities of sellers, employees.

8.37.100    Dates and times consumer fireworks may be sold or discharged.

8.37.110    Sales of consumer fireworks.

8.37.120    All sales to be from temporary stands.

8.37.130    Standards for fireworks stands.

8.37.140    Fire nuisance where fireworks kept prohibited.

8.37.150    Approved storage facilities required.

8.37.160    Unlawful possession.

8.37.165    Sale of fireworks to persons under 18 years of age prohibited.

8.37.170    Sales or transfers of display fireworks.

8.37.180    Manufacture or sale of fireworks for out-of-state shipment.

8.37.190    Special effects for entertainment media.

8.37.200    Nonprohibited acts – Signal purposes, forest protection.

8.37.210    Revocation or suspension of permit.

8.37.215    Emergency fireworks ban sale and use.

8.37.220    Reckless discharge or use prohibited.

8.37.221    Discharge of fireworks by person under 18 years of age.

8.37.225    Enforcement.

8.37.230    Penalties for violation.

8.37.240    Violation a separate, continuing offense.

*    For statutory provisions on fireworks, see Chapter 70.74 RCW.

8.37.010 Definitions.

Unless the context in which they are used otherwise requires, the following definitions shall govern the construction of the terms found in this chapter:

A.    “Fireworks” means any composition or device designed to produce a visible or audible effect by combustion, deflagration or detonation, and which meets the definition of articles pyrotechnic or consumer fireworks or display fireworks.

B.    “Display fireworks” means large fireworks designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, deflagration, or detonation and includes, but is not limited to, salutes containing more than two grains (130 milligrams) of explosive materials, aerial shells containing more than 40 grams of pyrotechnic compositions, and other display pieces which exceed the limits of explosive materials for classification as “consumer fireworks” and are classified as fireworks UN0333, UN0334, or UN0335 by the United States Department of Transportation at 49 C.F.R. Section 172.101 as of July 24, 2002, and including fused setpieces containing components which exceed 50 milligrams of salute powder.

C.    “Consumer fireworks” means any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, as set forth in 16 C.F.R. Parts 1500 and 1507 and including some small devices designed to produce audible effects, such as whistling devices, ground devices containing 50 milligrams or less of explosive materials, and aerial devices containing 130 milligrams or less of explosive materials and classified as fireworks UN0336 by the United States Department of Transportation at 490 C.F.R. Section 172.101 as of July 24, 2002, and not including fused setpieces containing components which together exceed 50 milligrams of salute powder.

D.    “Agricultural and wildlife fireworks” includes fireworks devices distributed to farmers, ranchers, and growers through a wildlife management program administered by the United States Department of the Interior or an equivalent state or local governmental agency.

E.    “Public display of fireworks” means an entertainment feature where the public is or could be admitted or permitted to view the display or discharge of display fireworks.

F.    “Fire nuisance” means any thing or any act which increases, or may cause an increase of, the hazard or menace of fire to a greater degree than customarily recognized as normal by persons in the public service of preventing, suppressing, or extinguishing fire; or which may obstruct, delay, or hinder, or may become the cause of any obstruction, delay or the hindrance, to the prevention of or extinguishment of fire.

G.    “License” means a nontransferable formal authorization which the chief of the Washington State Patrol, through the director of fire protection, is authorized to issue under Chapter 70.77 RCW to engage in the act specifically designated therein.

H.    “Permit” means the official authorization granted by the city for the purpose of doing any act which is regulated by this chapter.

I.    “Person” includes any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, concern, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit.

J.    “Manufacturer” includes any person who manufactures, makes, constructs, fabricates, or produces any fireworks article or device but does not include persons who assemble or fabricate sets or mechanical pieces in public displays of fireworks or persons who assemble consumer fireworks items or sets of packages containing consumer fireworks items.

K.    “Wholesaler” includes any person who sells fireworks to a retailer or any other person for resale and any person who sells display fireworks to public display permittees.

L.    “Retailer” includes any person who, at a fixed location or place of business, offers for sale, sells, or exchanges for consideration consumer fireworks to a consumer or user.

M.    “Pyrotechnic operator” includes any individual who by experience and training has demonstrated the required skill and ability for safely setting up and discharging display fireworks.

N.    “Fire chief” means the chief administrative officer of the fire department and/or his designee who shall be the local fire official for purposes of Chapter 70.77 RCW.

O.    “Articles pyrotechnic” means pyrotechnic devices for professional use similar to consumer fireworks in chemical composition and construction but not intended for consumer use which meet the weight limits of consumer fireworks but which are not labeled as such and which are classified as UN0431 or UN0432 by the United States Department of Transportation at 49 C.F.R. Section 172.101 as of July 24, 2002.

P.    “Licensee” means any person issued a fireworks license in conformance with Chapter 70.77 RCW.

Q.    “Permittee” means any person issued a fireworks permit in conformance with Chapter 70.77 RCW.

R.    “Permanent storage” means storage of display fireworks at any time and/or storage of consumer fireworks at any time other than the periods allowed under BMC 8.37.100 and which shall be in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 70.74 RCW.

S.    “Temporary storage” means the storage of consumer fireworks during the periods allowed under BMC 8.37.100.

T.    “Emergency fireworks ban” means retail sales and use of consumer fireworks are prohibited. (Ord. 2190 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016;* Ord. 1878 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1594 § 1, 1995; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

*    Code reviser’s note: Section 4 of Ord. 2190 provides, “This ordinance, being an exercise of a power specifically delegated to the City legislative body, is subject to RCW 70.77.250(4), and shall take effect one (1) year after passage and publication of an approved summary thereof consisting of the title.” Ord. 2190, which adds BMC 8.37.010(T), is therefore effective April 11, 2017.

8.37.020 Acts prohibited without a permit.

No person shall do any of the following acts in the city without having first obtained and having in full force and effect a valid permit issued by the city to do so:

A.    Manufacture, import, possess or sell any fireworks, including agricultural and wildlife fireworks, at wholesale or retail for any use; provided, however, no permit is required for the possession or use of consumer fireworks lawfully purchased at retail;

B.    Discharge display fireworks at any place;

C.    Make a public display of fireworks; or

D.    Transport fireworks, except as a licensee or as a public carrier delivering to a licensee or permittee. (Ord. 1878 § 2, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.030 Application for permit.

A.    Any person desiring to do any act set forth in BMC 8.37.020 shall first make written application for a permit to the fire chief. The application for a permit shall be signed by the applicant. If the application is made by a partnership, it shall be signed by each partner of the partnership, and, if the application is made by a corporation, it shall be signed by an officer of the corporation and bear the seal of the corporation.

    The application shall be in such form as the fire chief shall require and shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

1.    The true name, address and telephone number of the applicant and for any retail operation the person in charge and responsible;

2.    A statement by the applicant that he or she is over the age of 18 years;

3.    A valid and current license issued by the chief of the Washington State Patrol, through the director of fire protection, pursuant to Chapter 70.77 RCW authorizing the applicant thereto to engage in the requested activity;

4.    The proposed location at which the applicant intends to perform the act for which the permit is sought, and, for retail sales, a diagram showing the proposed site plan of the stand location which includes distances from property lines, distances from structures, distances from other fireworks stands and vehicular traffic routes.

B.    All applications for permits pursuant to this chapter shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit fee to be established by resolution of the city. The city council finds that this charge is necessary to cover the legitimate administrative costs for permit processing and inspection. The applicant shall post a $100.00 cash bond, conditioned upon the prompt removal of the temporary stand and the clearing up of all debris from the site by the sixth day of July of each year. Failure to do so shall cause the bond to be forfeited to the city.

C.    All applications for permits pursuant to this chapter shall be accompanied by a certificate of insurance coverage evidencing the carrying of a comprehensive general liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $500,000 and $2,000,000 for bodily injury liability for each person and event, respectively, and not less than $500,000 for property damage liability for each event. Such general liability policy shall name the city as an additional named insured, must be in full force and effect for the duration of the permit, and shall include a provision prohibiting cancellation of the policy without 30 days’ written notice to the city. The policy and certificate shall be in a form approved by the city attorney.

D.    Applications for public display of fireworks shall be made in writing at least 10 days in advance of the proposed display. All applications shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit fee to be determined by resolution of the city. The applicant shall post a $100.00 cash bond, conditioned upon the prompt removal of all debris from the site within 24 hours of such display. Failure to do so shall cause the bond to be forfeited to the city.

E.    Applications for sale of fireworks shall be made annually on or after April 1st of the year for which the permit is issued and the filing period shall close on May 31st of such year. Applications shall be signed before a notary public by the retail seller, if an individual, or by the duly authorized officer, if an association or corporation. It is unlawful for a fireworks manufacturer, wholesaler or supplier to make application for or to obtain a retail sales permit on behalf of any retailer. (Ord. 1878 § 3, 2002; Ord. 1306 §§ 19, 20, 1988; Ord. 1266 § 1, 1987; Ord. 1236 § 1, 1986; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.040 Investigation, report on permit application.

It shall be the duty of the fire chief to make an investigation and prepare a report of his findings and conclusions for or against the issuance of the permit, together with his reasons therefor. In the case of an application for a permit for a public display of fireworks, the fire chief shall, in addition to any other investigation, make an investigation as to whether such display as proposed will be of such a character and will be so located that it may be hazardous to property or dangerous to any person. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.050 Fire chief may grant or deny permit – Conditions.

The fire chief shall have the power to grant or deny any application for a permit, or to subject the same to such reasonable conditions, if any, as he shall prescribe. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.060 License required prior to issuance of permit.

No permit shall be issued unless the person applying therefor shall first have obtained and have in full force and effect a valid license issued by the chief of the Washington State Patrol, through the director of fire protection, pursuant to Chapter 70.77 RCW, to do the particular act or acts for which the permit is sought. (Ord. 1878 § 4, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.070 Public display permit – Granted for exclusive purpose – Nontransferable.

If a permit for the public display of fireworks is granted, the sale, possession and use of fireworks for the public display is lawful for that purpose only. No such permit granted shall be transferable. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.080 Supervision of public displays.

Every public display of fireworks shall be handled or supervised by a pyrotechnic operator approved by the fire chief. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.090 Permit authorizes activities of sellers, employees.

The authorization to engage in the particular act or acts as conferred by a permit to a person shall extend to sellers, authorized representatives, and other employees of such person. (Ord. 1878 § 5, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.100 Dates and times consumer fireworks may be sold or discharged.

A.    No consumer fireworks shall be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale within the city except from 12:00 noon until 11:00 p.m. on the first day of July, 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on the second and third days of July, and from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on the fourth day of July.

B.    No person shall ignite or discharge any fireworks anywhere within the city at any time except on July 4th of any year between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

C.    No person shall discharge without a permit any consumer fireworks upon any city or publicly owned parks.

D.    The prohibitions set out in subsections A and B of this section shall not apply in the following cases:

1.    Public displays as authorized by a state license and city permit pursuant to RCW 70.77.260(2);

2.    Use for religious purposes pursuant to RCW 70.77.311; and

3.    Agricultural and wildlife fireworks used by government agencies as authorized by RCW 70.77.311.

E.    Except as herein provided, it is unlawful for any person to possess, store, offer for sale, sell at retail, use, explode, fire, ignite, or discharge any fireworks in the city. (Ord. 1878 § 6, 2002; Ord. 1651 § 1, 1996; Ord. 1594 § 2, 1995; Ord. 1465 § 2, 1992; Ord. 1266 § 2, 1987; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.110 Sales of consumer fireworks.

No person shall sell consumer fireworks to a consumer or user thereof other than at a fixed place of business of a retailer for which a license and permit have been issued. (Ord. 1878 § 7, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.120 All sales to be from temporary stands.

All sales of consumer fireworks shall be from temporary stands, which shall not be erected prior to the twenty-fifth day of June of any year and which shall be removed not later than the sixth day of July of the same year. (Ord. 1878 § 8, 2002; Ord. 1266 § 3, 1987; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.130 Standards for fireworks stands.

The fireworks stands of all those persons engaging in the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to a permit issued under this chapter shall conform to the following minimum standards and conditions:

A.    Fireworks stands shall comply with all provisions of the building code and shall be constructed in such a manner so as not to endanger the safety of attendants and patrons.

B.    No fireworks stand shall be located within 50 feet of any other building or structure, nor within 250 feet of any gasoline station, oil storage tank or premises where flammable liquids are kept or stored. No fireworks stand shall be located nearer than 600 feet from another fireworks stands.

C.    Each fireworks stand must have at least two exits which shall be unobstructed at all times.

D.    Each fireworks stand shall have, in a readily accessible place, at least two two-and-one-half-gallon pressurized water fire extinguishers approved by the fire chief.

E.    All weeds, grass and combustible material shall be cleared from the location of the fireworks stand and the surrounding area a distance of not less than 50 feet, measured from the exterior walls on each side of the fireworks stand.

F.    No smoking shall be permitted in or within 25 feet of a fireworks stand, and the same shall be posted with proper “No Smoking” signs on all four sides of such stand with prominent bold lettering at least three inches in height.

G.    Each fireworks stand shall have an adult in attendance at all times that the stand is stocked. No person under the age of 18 shall be allowed in the stands during business hours.

H.    No heating unit or device with a surface temperature capable of igniting fireworks or having an open flame shall be allowed within a fireworks stand.

I.    No fireworks stand shall be permitted where the same would be in violation of any applicable zoning laws.

J.    Each fireworks stand shall post prominently a list of fireworks that may be sold to the public.

K.    No person shall discharge any fireworks within 250 feet of the exterior of any fireworks stand and the same shall be posted with signs stating “No discharge of fireworks within 250 feet” on the exterior of all sides of the temporary stand with prominent bold lettering at least three inches in height.

L.    At all times that fireworks stock is kept or stored within a temporary stand, a competent seller, authorized representative, or other employee of the permittee, over 18 years of age shall be at the site location.

M.    All temporary fireworks stand locations shall be provided with a sturdy barrier consisting of bollards and rope or similar construction, erected at least 25 feet from the stand on all sides to prevent the parking of motor vehicles and to define the no smoking boundary. (Ord. 1878 § 9, 2002; Ord. 1266 §§ 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1987; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.140 Fire nuisance where fireworks kept prohibited.

No person shall allow any combustibles to accumulate in any premises where any fireworks are sold or stored or permit a fire nuisance to exist on such premises. (Ord. 1878 § 10, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.150 Approved storage facilities required.

It is unlawful for any person to store temporarily stocks of fireworks except in such places as approved by the fire chief. Unsold stocks of fireworks remaining after the authorized retail sales period from 12:00 noon on June 28th to 9:00 p.m. on July 4th shall be stored in an approved location and be returned on or before July 6th of the same year to approved permanent storage facilities of a licensed fireworks wholesaler, to a magazine or permanent storage place approved by the fire chief or to a place approved by the chief of the Washington State Patrol, through the director of fire protection. Upon receiving a written application at least 30 days prior to the date of proposed temporary storage, the fire chief shall investigate whether the character and location of the temporary storage as proposed meets the requirements of the zoning, building and fire codes or constitutes a hazard to any property or is dangerous to any person. Based upon the investigation, the fire chief may grant or deny any application for temporary storage or to subject the same to such reasonable conditions, if any, as he or she shall prescribe. (Ord. 1878 § 11, 2002; Ord. 1266 § 9, 1987; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.160 Unlawful possession.

The possession of any class or kind of fireworks in violation of the provisions of this chapter or Chapter 70.77 RCW is prohibited. (Ord. 1266 § 10, 1987; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.165 Sale of fireworks to persons under 18 years of age prohibited.

It is unlawful to sell fireworks to any person under the age of 18 years. Sellers shall require proof of age by means of display of a Washington State Driver’s License or photo identification card issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing. No other forms of identification shall be accepted. (Ord. 1651 § 2, 1996; Ord. 1266 § 11, 1987).

8.37.170 Sales or transfers of display fireworks.

No person shall sell or transfer any display fireworks to any person who is not a fireworks permittee as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 1878 § 12, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.180 Manufacture or sale of fireworks for out-of-state shipment.

This chapter does not prohibit any manufacturer, wholesaler, dealer, or jobber having a license issued by the chief of the Washington State Patrol, through the director of fire protection, and a permit secured under the provisions of this chapter from manufacturing or selling any kind of fireworks for direct shipment out of this state. (Ord. 1878 § 13, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.190 Special effects for entertainment media.

This chapter does not prohibit the assembling, compounding, use and display of special effects of whatever nature by any person engaged in the productions, theatricals or operas when such use and display is a necessary part of the production and such person possesses a valid permit issued by the city to purchase, possess, transport or use such fireworks. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.200 Nonprohibited acts – Signal purposes, forest protection.

This chapter does not prohibit the use of flares or fuses in connection with the operation of motor vehicles, railroads, or other transportation agencies for signal purposes or illumination or for use in forest protection activities. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.210 Revocation or suspension of permit.

A.    Authority. The fire chief may at any time suspend or revoke any permit issued under the provisions of this chapter, if the permittee has:

1.    Violated any of the provisions of this chapter by the person holding such permit or any of his servants, agents or employees;

2.    Made any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in connection with obtaining the permit; or

3.    Failed to obtain or has had suspended or revoked any license required by the state of Washington to engage in any act prohibited by Chapter 70.77 RCW or this chapter to be done without a license; or

4.    Has had any insurance coverage required by this chapter cancelled, revoked or lapsed.

B.    Effective Date of Revocation. When the fire chief determines that there is cause for revoking or suspending any permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the fire chief shall notify the person holding such permit. The notice shall specify the grounds for the suspension or revocation of the permit. The suspension or revocation shall become effective immediately upon receipt of the notice of the permittee.

C.    Appeal. The decision of the fire chief with respect to the revocation or suspension of any permit issued under this chapter shall be final. Any permittee whose permit is suspended or revoked may appeal the decision of the fire chief to the King County superior court by filing such appeal within 10 days of the date of the final decision of the fire chief. This shall be the exclusive remedy of any permittee under this chapter. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.215 Emergency fireworks ban sale and use.*

Upon recommendation of the city manager, the city council may issue a city-wide temporary order prohibiting the sale, possession and use of consumer fireworks. Said recommendation shall be based on a reasonable and articulable belief that hazardous conditions exist where the sale and use of consumer fireworks poses a severe wildland-urban interface fire hazard, increasing risk and/or threatening public safety. Prior to making the recommendation, the city manager shall consult the fire chief and police chief for best available public safety information pertinent to the conditions. Said information shall be communicated to the council as part of the city manager’s recommendation. The temporary emergency order shall specify the time period it shall be in effect. The emergency order may be cancelled by the city council prior to its expiration date, based on recommendation from the city manager after consultation with the fire chief and police chief as to prevailing conditions. (Ord. 2190 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016).

*    Code reviser’s note: Section 4 of Ord. 2190 provides, “This ordinance, being an exercise of a power specifically delegated to the City legislative body, is subject to RCW 70.77.250(4), and shall take effect one (1) year after passage and publication of an approved summary thereof consisting of the title.” Ord. 2190 is therefore effective April 11, 2017.

8.37.220 Reckless discharge or use prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to discharge or use fireworks in a reckless manner which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person or damage to the property of another. (Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).

8.37.221 Discharge of fireworks by person under 18 years of age.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to discharge fireworks except under the direct supervision of a competent adult. (Ord. 1651 § 3, 1996).

8.37.225 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 or she 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. (Ord. 1878 § 14, 2002; Ord. 1266 § 12, 1987).

8.37.230 Penalties for violation.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction that such violation was committed, be subject to imposition of a fine and/or imprisonment as follows:

A.    Unlawful possession of fireworks weighing less than one pound, exclusive of external packaging, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed 90 days, and/or payment of a fine not to exceed $1,000.

B.    Unlawful possession of fireworks weighing one pound or more, exclusive of external packaging, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed one year, and/or payment of a fine not to exceed $5,000.

C.    Violation of the prohibition upon use or discharge of fireworks in a reckless manner shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of not more than one year and/or payment of a fine not to exceed $5,000.

D.    A violation of the restrictions upon the sale of fireworks set forth in this chapter shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed one year and/or payment of a fine not to exceed $5,000.

E.    Any other violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by imprisonment of up to 90 days and/or payment of a fine not to exceed $1,000. (Ord. 1266 § 13, 1987).

8.37.240 Violation a separate, continuing offense.

A person commits a separate offense for each day during which he or she commits, continues, or permits a violation of any provision of this chapter. (Ord. 1878 § 15, 2002; Ord. 1127 § 2, 1984).