Fireworks Safety

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, those fireworks can turn your holiday into a tragedy within seconds.

Many people are injured each year in Fairfax County due to fireworks. Some are injured seriously and left with permanent damage.

Watch this video featuring our Fire and Rescue Department from a recent fireworks safety demonstration to see the power of fireworks.

Illegal Fireworks

Any firework, which explodes, emits a flame or sparks higher than 12 feet, or performs as a projectile is prohibited by the Fairfax County Fire Prevention Code.

Many fireworks are not available in Northern Virginia because they are illegal. Firecrackers, cherry bombs and skyrockets are just a few examples of fireworks which may be purchased in other areas, but are illegal here. Since even the possession of unapproved fireworks is prohibited in Fairfax County, such fireworks will be confiscated and you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of a $2,500 fine and/or one year in jail.

Safety Tips

If you are planning to use permissible fireworks, remember these safety tips.

  • During the use of permissible fireworks, minors should be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.Fireworks Safety in Fairfax County
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one fireworks device at a time, then back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
  • Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.

Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals

If you would like to enjoy the sights and sounds of fireworks to celebrate tomorrow, leave the fireworks to the professionals and take in McLean’s Annual 4th of July Celebration at  Churchill Road Elementary. The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes free shuttle buses, a DJ and snack vendors. The rain date for fireworks is Wednesday, July 5.

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