Misconceptions of fireworks state laws versus county, city laws

CLARKSTON, WA - We've been talking a lot this week about fireworks laws. Both Idaho and Washington have different rules, while every community and county also set their own rules.

It makes it very confusing, in fact we were given some incorrect information by a local agency. So tonight, we want to clear the air.

Rod McKee has been in the fireworks business for 13-years. He said he does his best to educate his customers about what they can use in Clarkston as well as Lewiston. One thing he's doing is putting tags by each firework that's labeled with the appropriate state.

Any stand that you purchase fireworks at is selling fireworks that are legal in that area specifically. Each state has their own laws. Each county and city can then develop their own laws that tell people what they can and cannot use in their area.

But, Asotin County, the City of Clarkston and City of Asotin have decided to go along with their states rules.

"Which will allow you to shoot aerial fireworks," said McKee. "The acceptation to that (what's illegal in Washington), is: fire crackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets and whistle salute chasers."

Idaho uses what's called safe and sane standards. And the city of Lewiston has decided to follow their state's standards.

"And it includes no item that will go higher than ten-feet in the air," said McKee. "So, in Idaho you're going to see a lot of ground fireworks."

McKee said no matter what your state, city or county laws are everyone should know how to properly use their fireworks and be safe doing it.

"You should have a hose ready to go and turned on," said McKee. "That way it's charged and all you have to do is grab it and go, if there's a problem."

Fireworks may be fun to use, but don't forget they're explosive devices.

"What you're about to see is a mortar shell firework. It shoots about one-100 and 50 feet in the air. McKee said once you lit it, it's important to step away as soon as possible."

Fireworks are pretty loud too, so make sure to have your pets somewhere they feel safe and the noise won't hurt their ears.

Leaders from the Asotin County Fire District said it's important to cleanup debris from fireworks immediately. Even if it doesn't look hot, it could still start a fire. They said you should put used fireworks in a bucket of water or spray them with water before throwing them away. You should throw used fireworks in a metal trash can and don't put them in a paper or plastic bag.