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Safety first

(From left) Bailey Mendar, 10, Tara Black, 14, and Daylyn Blandford, 10, sort through fireworks at their Olympic Gymnastics Center fireworks stand in the All-Star Lanes parking lot in Silverdale. All proceeds from the fireworks stand benefit the gymnastics center. - Rachel Brant/staff photo
(From left) Bailey Mendar, 10, Tara Black, 14, and Daylyn Blandford, 10, sort through fireworks at their Olympic Gymnastics Center fireworks stand in the All-Star Lanes parking lot in Silverdale. All proceeds from the fireworks stand benefit the gymnastics center.
— image credit: Rachel Brant/staff photo

It’s the only time of year when average citizens turn into fireworks technicians.

“There’s something about making things go boom,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

KCSO and county fire agencies urge people to celebrate the Fourth of July legally and safely by adhering to local regulations and state law concerning fireworks.

Discharge of legal consumer fireworks is permitted in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. tomorrow.

“Not July 3rd or July 5th — just that one day,” Wilson said.

Legal consumer fireworks are sold at licensed stands and include sparklers, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, smoke devices, combination items, roman candles, helicopter aerial spinners, mines/shells and flitter sparklers.

Fireworks that are legal only on tribal land are firecrackers, bottle rockets and sky rockets or missile-type rockets. These items are legal to possess and discharge only on tribal land, not in other areas of Washington state.

Illegal explosives include dynamite, M80s, M100s, cherry bombs and improvised explosive devices. Possession of these explosives is a felony, according to KCSO.

KCSO will respond and investigate reports where there is an immediate threat to public safety and situations involving illegal explosives.

“It seems that traditionally there is a percentage of the population who will, regardless of what the law says, engage in illegal fireworks discharge,” Wilson said.

He said KCSO receives thousands of noise complaints every July 4th, but the department does not have the manpower to investigate every complaint.

“Our budget is such that it’s hard enough to maintain the folks we have on regular shifts right now,” he said. “We’ve got to prioritize and organize.”

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