Celebrate Safely - Fireworks Regulations

As we move through the recovery stages of the Safe Start program, Independence Day celebrations in the South Sound will be significantly different in 2020.

Major events such as Tacoma's Freedom Fair and community fireworks shows in Lakewood and Steilacoom will not take place, therefore local fire department personnel are stressing the importance of safety for those who choose to discharge their own fireworks.

Residents of University Place are reminded that:

  • Fireworks can only be discharged on July 4 between 9 a.m. to 12 midnight.
  • Only hand-held and ground-based sparking devices which are non-aerial and non-explosive are deemed legal for discharge in the City of University Place. These include:
    • Fountains - Ground devices that emit showers of sparks several feet in the air.
    • Cones - A type of fountain in the shape of a cone.
    • Novelties - Snaps, snakes and poppers that often shoot white smoke or even multi-colored parachutes.
    • Smokes - Items, including smoke balls and aerial items, that produce smoke instead of light or noise. These items are generally used during the daytime.
    • Sparklers/Morning Glory - Handheld sticks with a coating of pyrotechnic material that creates sparks when lit. Morning Glory sparklers are a larger thin cardboard tube filled with powder.
  • Fireworks must be purchased, possessed and discharged by persons 16 years of age or older. Children under 16 must be under direct adult supervision. 

Violations of the University Place fireworks law are infractions and could lead to a $250 fine, plus fees, costs and assessments.

“This is going to be a challenging year for all of us who enjoy the ‘oohs and aahs’ of big fireworks displays,” said Jennifer Hales, public safety administrator for the City of University Place. “Without professional pyrotechnic displays, more and more people are going to be tempted to do home shows. We encourage people to visit Pierce County’s dedicated fireworks page for detailed information on how to stay safe—and that includes how to keep pets safe, too.”