Fire department urges caution as firework stands open for business in Salem

Sparklers and fireworks on sale at the discount fireworks stand at Commercial Street SE and Bush Street SE in Salem on June 26, 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Colorful fireworks stands have popped up around Salem, with vendors offering everything from classic sparklers to pyrotechnics designed to mimic fish, frogs and tie-dye.

Salem has 32 licensed fireworks sellers open. Many are along Commercial Street, often in the parking lots of major grocery and retail stores. Another six are open in Keizer.

Sales are legal until July 6, though many types of fireworks are banned. Those include roman candles, bottle rockets and aerial fireworks. Such fireworks can be used with a permit from the Oregon Fire Marshal’s office.

A legal fireworks store at Commercial Street SE and Bush Street SE in Salem on June 26, 2019 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

In the past five years, fireworks have caused 264 fires and one death in Oregon, state data shows.

Salem Hospital typically sees more firework-related injuries after the Fourth of July, when people put devices into storage and forget about them, spokeswoman Kyla Postreo said.

“It’s usually because of people storing fireworks in their garage and taking them apart later,” she said. Kids finding fireworks that have been stored are another cause of injury.

The hospital’s emergency department usually sees injuries to the hands and face, she said.

The Salem Fire Department sent out a reminder Tuesday encouraging people to use fireworks safely by having a bucket of water handy, only allowing adults to access and light fireworks, and keeping combustible materials away.

Fireworks cannot be used in city or state parks.

For anyone seeking a more exciting fireworks show, the City of Salem will put on its annual display on the Fourth of July starting around 10 p.m. in Riverfront Park.

Reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.