2019 fireworks to blame for deadly Highline house fire (King Co Fire District 20)

Every year, approximately ten thousand people are treated for injuries due to the mishandling of live, misfired, and waste consumer fireworks. In addition, fires resulting from fireworks cause over $100 million in direct property damage. In 2020, many U.S. cities saw a surge in consumer firework usage due to canceled community celebrations. In Washington, our weather conditions continue to evolve: March through April 2021 was the fourth driest period for Washington State since 1895. With drought advisories being issued, it is crucial to practice fire safety during the dry summer months.


Before you light fireworks remember to:

  • Store fireworks out of children’s reach.
  • Leave your pets at home! Make sure they have an ID tag on their collar in case they become frightened and run away.
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks.


When lighting fireworks, remember:

  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at others or vehicles.
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.

Be Responsible AFTER

After you’re done celebrating:

  • SOAK ‘EM BEFORE YOU THROW ‘EM! Prevent house fires by soaking fireworks before throwing them away.
  • Be considerate and clean up used fireworks.
  • Toss fireworks in the garbage – they are not recyclable.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.

Red Flag Warnings

What is a Red Flag Warning?  

A Red Flag Warning is issued by the National Weather Service when low humidity, warm temperatures, dry fuels, and strong winds could combine to produce extreme fire behavior that is either occurring or will occur within 24 hours.

What should I do?

  • During a Red Flag Warning you should ALWAYS follow the instructions provided by your local fire department and be prepared to take action if a fire develops in your area.
  • Be mindful of any burn bans in your area.
  • Extinguish outdoor fires properly, never leave them unattended. Always drown them with plenty of water.
  • Avoid using lawn mowers or dry vegetation. Create a defensible space around your home.
  • Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a vehicle. They can ignite grass on the side of the road and start a wildfire.
  • Do not pull your vehicle over in dry grass.
  • Ensure that trailer chains don't drag on the ground.
  • Report unattended outdoor fires immediately to 911.
  • Other common culprits that can spark a fire: electric shorts, outdoor tools, ATV/dirt bikes, lawn mowers, and fireworks.

Avoid causing a spark DNR

Outdoor Cooking

When the warmer weather hits, there's nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. Stay safe by remembering these grilling fire facts, so you can enjoy that delicious BBQ' d meal.

  • July is the peak month for grill fires (18%), followed by June (15%), May (13%), and August (12%).
  • In 2014-2018, nearly 2,000 patients per year went to the ER because of injuries involving grills. Nearly 48% of the injuries were burns as a result of contact with hot objects or from fire.
  • Children under five accounted for an average of 39% of burns each year. These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched, or fell on the grill, grill parts, or hot coals.
  • Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year. Leaks or breaks were the primary problem with gas grills. Charcoal and other solid-fueled grills are also the cause of home fires each year.
  • Practice grilling safety tips to prevent injuries.Grill Tips

Recreational Fires

Permanent and portable fire pits bring fire danger to your home. You can prevent unintentional fires and injuries with these simple steps:

  • Make sure the fit pit is at least three feet away from your house and anything that can burn.
  • Closely watch children and pets when the fire pit is in use.
  • Use a metal screen over wood-burning fires to keep sparks from floating out.
  • Turn off or put out fires before you leave.
  • Store matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.

According to Washington State, the term "recreational fire" is defined as "Cooking fires and camp fires using charcoal or firewood for cooking or pleasure. Fires used for debris disposal purposes are not considered recreational fires". To learn more about outdoor burning in Puyallup, watch "Wednesdays with Wohrle" from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue or visit their Outdoor Burning page.

Keep fire pits away from home