Fireworks Laws & Tips

A Message from Mayor Thomas

Annually, residents contact the City of Monroe to ask me to declare an emergency and ask our Monroe City Councilmembers to pass legislation to prohibit the use of personal fireworks. In 2021, the City of Monroe received considerably more requests. A primary reason given is the record-breaking heat.

While City staff and I continue to respond directly to comments we receive, I felt it was valuable to get some frequently asked questions (FAQs) up on our website so that people can have access to the most frequently asked questions and responses. Please find these FAQs and the bottom of this message.

As noted in the FAQs, fireworks are not prohibited in the City of Monroe. Also, the Monroe City Council has not authorized me or a qualified staff member, like a fire marshal, to declare an emergency to prohibit fireworks, even following the extreme weather conditions like we experienced between June 24 and June 29, 2021. Lastly, State Law prohibits changes to local fireworks laws from becoming effective for one year.  

This Fourth of July, please celebrate Independence Day. Please get together with one another – with family, friends, and neighbors. This is a time to celebrate. Especially given the recent, record-breaking heat, please consider using alternatives to personal fireworks this year and, if you use them, only use legal fireworks AND to take every precaution to ensure a safe Independence Day celebration for you, your family and neighbors, and our community.  

Be safe and have a Happy Independence Day!
Mayor Thomas

Frequently Asked Questions

Related to Fireworks use in the City of Monroe.

As you review these FAQs, please note that fireworks can be regulated differently in every city. Counties do not regulate fireworks in cities, so areas outside of a city may have different fireworks regulations than a city. The following responses are specific to the City of Monroe: 

Question 1: Can the City of Monroe prohibit fireworks in Monroe for this July 4?  

Response: No. The Monroe City Council may adopt laws to prohibit the use and sale of fireworks, but State Law restricts fireworks laws from becoming effective for one year. For example, if the City Council adopted new laws related to fireworks on July 5, 2021, the law would not be effective until July 5, 2022 and would not be in place for a Fourth of July until July 4, 2023.  

Question 2: Can the Mayor of Monroe declare an emergency to prohibit fireworks immediately?

Response: No. The Monroe City Council has not adopted laws that would authorize the mayor or qualified staff to prohibit fireworks sales or use. Should Council adopt provisions like this into code, State Law would restrict the law from becoming effective for one year (see response to question 1 above). Also, State Law does not authorize a mayor to declare an emergency to prohibit the use or sale of fireworks.  

Question 3: How can someone share their concerns about, support for, or opposition to changes to the City’s fireworks regulations?  

Response: While City staff and the Mayor share comments with the City Councilmembers, please consider sending comments directly to Monroe City Councilmembers at Councilmembers@MonroeWA.gov.  

Question 4: How can someone share their concerns about, support for, or opposition to changes to the State’s fireworks laws?  

Response: While the City Council can change the City’s fireworks laws, there are fireworks laws at the State level that affect fireworks laws at the city level. Please consider sending comments directly to our State Senator and two State Representatives. They can be contacted at the following email addresses:  

State Senator Keith Wagoner:Keith.Wagoner@leg.wa.gov
State Representative Carolyn Eslick:Carolyn.Eslick@leg.wa.gov
State Representative Robert Sutherland:Robert.Sutherland@leg.wa.gov


Fireworks Laws 

Laws for using fireworks within Monroe city limits:

Lawful Sale Dates

  • Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 1st through July 4th
  • Between the hours of noon and 11 p.m. on December 27th through December 31st

Fireworks Discharge Law

Fireworks may only be discharged on:

  • July 4th from 9 a.m. to midnight
  • December 31st from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on January 1st of the subsequent year
  • Fireworks may not be discharged in city parks per Monroe Municipal Code (MCC) 9.28.070

Calling Non-Emergency:

1. My neighbor is lighting off fireworks.

  • Our 911 call centers normally see an increase in firework-related complaints in the dates surrounding the Fourth of July.
  • Leave 911 open for emergencies. 
  • For complaints related to fireworks, please call the Snohomish County non-emergency number.

2. Someone is lighting off fireworks after midnight.

  • Cities and counties may restrict the days and times when fireworks may be discharged.  To learn more about if fireworks are legal in your area and legal times of use, refer to   https://snohomishcountywa.gov/290/Fireworks for a map. 
  • To report noise complaints, call the Snohomish County non-emergency number.

3. My neighbors are having a party and lighting off fireworks in a banned area.

  •  To report fireworks being discharged in a banned area, call the Snohomish County non-emergency number.

4. It's July 6th and someone is still lighting off fireworks.

  • To report fireworks being discharged after July 4th, call the Snohomish County non-emergency number.

When calling the non-emergency line, expect to be placed in a queue until a 911 dispatcher is available to answer your call. Dispatchers handle both 911 and non-emergency calls. 

Calling 911:

1. firework has started a fire.

  • Call 911.
  • Each year we see an increase in brush/grass and house fires related to fireworks. If the fire is involving a house, call 911 immediately and notify the homeowner so they can escape safely. Once out, stay out.

2. I burned myself when lighting off a firework.

  • In 2019, there were 48 injuries related to fireworks in Snohomish County. Treat minor burns at home and contact your care provider for further guidance.  
  • If there is an immediate threat to life or property, including a fire or significant injury, call 911.

3. I found a short piece of pipe with a fuse coming out of it.

  • If you find a homemade firework, stay away and call 911. Homemade fireworks are illegal in the State of Washington.

4. My neighbor is making fireworks in their garage.

  • Call 911 to report this activity.
  • Homemade firework devices are illegal the state of Washington. Examples include homemade M-80s, M-100s, tennis ball or pipe bombs and altering ANY consumer fireworks. 

Fireworks Safety

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Always light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from any buildings, dry grass or vegetation, or other flammable materials.
  • Remember that alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the Fourth of July and other big celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.