MCFRS News Release
S O S - Summer of Safety
All Fireworks are Illegal in Montgomery County
Every year many Montgomery County residents look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. The American tradition of parades, cookouts and fireworks helps us celebrate our nation’s birthday on the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings potential for fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor grills. Annually more than 8,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and grill fires. More than half these injuries occur during the first week of July.
Just a reminder – ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County.
Nationally, improper use of fireworks causes more than 6,000 fires and more than $8 million in damage. Fortunately, in Montgomery County the frequency of fires started by fireworks is minimal because most people abide by the law – all fireworks are illegal, however the potential always exists. Although some people may believe that fireworks are relatively safe with proper and careful usage, ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County.
Fireworks present substantial risks that can result in damage to property and, more importantly, cause ear and eye injuries, amputations, severe burns and death. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), firecrackers experienced at close range can damage hearing permanently in an instant.
The men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service urge everyone to put safety first when celebrating this Fourth of July. Things can go wrong very fast when you are exposed to fireworks. Children, especially, can be injured quickly. Kids typically not only like to watch, but they also want to touch, feel, and light the fireworks.
Rather than incurring any risks, we prefer that you celebrate and enjoy the holiday without lighting your own fireworks. Instead, attend one of the many public fireworks displays that are provided throughout the metro area. At these displays, certified and licensed pyrotechnic technicians are trained and experienced in the proper use of fireworks and will provide a safe, yet exciting show.
The following tips should help make a public fireworks display safer and more enjoyable:
- DO NOT use fireworks – ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.
- Stay far away from where the fireworks are exploded and wear earplugs if the noises are uncomfortably loud.
- Obey all monitors and ushers and respect the safety barriers established that allow the trained pyrotechnic technicians room to safely do their job. Resist any temptation to get close to the actual firing site. In fact, the best view of fireworks is from a quarter mile or more away.
- If unexploded fireworks fall to the ground, do not touch them and keep others away. If you happen to find any pieces which may not have exploded, immediately contact the local fire or police departments.
- Pets, like their human companions, have very sensitive ears and the “booms” and “bangs” associated with fireworks displays can be quite uncomfortable - particularly to dogs. In fact, these loud noises can damage their ears too. Leave pets at home if you attend a fireworks show.
- Leave the lighting of all fireworks to certified operators. Even sparklers and other novelty items that may be legal in certain jurisdictions can be dangerous. Enjoy the “Fourth” safely and attend a public display—it will provide the right kind of excitement!