MCFRS News Release

All Fireworks are Illegal!

ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County. It’s simple, the message should be clear, but unfortunately many people don’t realize that fireworks are suitable only for use by trained professionals. Fireworks are dangerous and unpredictable, especially in the hands of amateurs. The few seconds of pleasure illegal fireworks may bring are not worth the risk of injury, permanent scarring, or even starting a fire.

Last year tens of thousands of pieces of illegal fireworks were collected thanks in part to a very successful fireworks amnesty program. In partnership with Prince George’s County and Six Flags America, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will again participate in an amnesty program between June 24 and July 8, 2006. For information concerning the “Fireworks Amnesty” Program call the hotline at 240.777.2454. All fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the City of Baltimore.

Public fireworks displays are the ONLY safe alternative. Conducted by trained professionals, these displays are the smartest and safest way to view fireworks because they are established under a controlled setting, safety regulations and monitored by public safety organizations.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks are among the most dangerous devices in America, based on a rate of injuries per hour of exposure.

Remember - ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County (as well as in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County). Fire/Rescue and safety officials encourage everyone to enjoy one of the many public displays in the area. The most popular Independence Day and July 4th public displays will occur in Rockville – Richard Montgomery H.S., Takoma Park and Gaithersburg to name a few. Other private country clubs and recreation areas may also have legal displays conducted by licensed pyrotechnic professionals with a permit.

Montgomery County officials will post signs throughout the County in malls, shopping centers and other public places reminding the consumer ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Recent changes in Maryland Law regarding fireworks affecting some jurisdictions took effect in October 2001. These changes legalized the sale, possession and use of “Ground-based Sparkling Devices”, for some consumers for the first time in sixty years.

The new law allows the sale and use of these non-aerial, non-exploding devices in most other parts of Maryland, except Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. Ground-based Sparkling devices join a very limited list of fireworks legal for sale and consumer use in some other areas of Maryland that includes: hand-held sparklers which contain no chlorates or perchlorates, snap-n-pops, black snakes, and party-poppers.

NO CHANGE has occurred regarding the prohibition of fireworks in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. ALL fireworks are illegal in these jurisdictions. Other fireworks such as roman candles, bottle rockets and devices which explode are still illegal across Maryland.

Possession or use of fireworks is unlawful and subject to a $500 fine upon conviction. Selling of fireworks is unlawful and subject to $1000 fine upon conviction. If anyone has knowledge of a crime associated with arson, fireworks and explosive devices they are asked to contact the Montgomery County Crime Solvers at 1.800.673.2777 or the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service at 240.777.2263.

###