MCFRS News Release
Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July
But fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries.
It’s simple, the message should be loud and clear, 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.
Public fireworks displays are the most suitable and 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.
If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Keep a bucket of water in case of a malfunction or fire.
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.
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 and other jurisdictions in the national capital region, 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 and the Washington metropolitan area that includes: hand-held sparklers which contain no chlorates or perchlorates, snap-n-pops, black snakes, and party-poppers.