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WF Fire Corner: Summer safety and Fourth of July rules

Recreational fires are allowed within the city limits of West Fargo. However, yard waste like leaves and grass should not be thrown onto a fire. Adding either one can create allot of smoke and can smolder for long periods.

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Welcome to June, it has been a long time coming with warmer weather.

As always, allot has been happening in the fire department. We have a quick update on our new engine truck. We received the new pumper with help from a Volkswagen grant. It is now in service and performed flawlessly at the last structure fire we had. The groundbreaking for the new station will have occurred by the time this article comes out. Full construction should be underway with drone update weekly on our webpage.

As always, fire crews have been busy responding to calls and catching up on warm weather training.
The spring seven-week session of Citizens Academy will have concluded with a great group of citizens
taking part. We are coming up on a special time of year where we celebrate Independence Day. Of
course, the 4th of July is of particular interest to the fire department since there will be allot of activity in the night sky. Although this is a celebration, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed to
eliminate injuries or fire related issues.

Only 1.4G consumer grade fireworks are allowed within the city limits of West Fargo from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4th. Much of fire safety with fireworks is common sense, such as:
- Always have a source of extinguishment, hose, fire extinguisher, etc. nearby
- Never put used fireworks in a plastic container or next to anything that can burn
- Always soak fireworks overnight in a water filled container.
- Be considerate of veterans and animals (meaning consider when and what kind of fireworks you use)

These warnings and reminders are made each year for a reason, we do have fires during the fireworks season. We have had house and garage fires from the use of fireworks not to mention medical calls with people being injured. They are dangerous if not used properly.


A few statistics about injuries may help you realize why fire is not the only issue we have with fireworks. Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room firework injuries. Children ages 10-14, have the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than one-third or the victims under the age of 15. Of the injuries that come into the emergency room half of them deal with the extremities, hands, fingers, feet or legs. Approximately one third of injuries are to the eyes or other parts of the head. I doubt that anyone wants to spend their Fourth of July sitting in the emergency room.

Some more rules for fireworks are covered in West Fargo City Ordinance, such as, any individual that is
12 years of age may use, explode, or possess any retail firework. This ordinance does not mean that an
adult shouldn’t be monitoring the child, it merely states that they can use them. No person shall ignite,
discharge or use fireworks on publicly owned or controlled property including but not limited to, park
property, city or county property, school property or federally owned property without prior written
authorization from the governing board or authorized representative of the public entity, which owns or controls the property. And there are ordinances that cover specific types of fireworks: the use of sky
lanterns is illegal, and all other fireworks shall be limited to a 1.4G firework rating.

If you have questions about fireworks, don’t hesitate to reach out to the West Fargo Fire Department.

Please enjoy the warmer weather and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.

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