With the abundance of fireworks available as Fourth of July festivities approach, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has released a list of safe practices and tips for using and operating fireworks.
More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year in the United States, nearly half of which are caused by fireworks. Most injuries that occur while using consumer fireworks are to children and teens between the ages of 10 and 14.
To safely enjoy your holiday, follow these tips:
- In Loudoun County, consumer fireworks, namely sparklers and ground based fountains, are legal to possess and use on private property. You should only purchase legal consumer fireworks from a local business or roadside stand possessing a fireworks retail permit from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. These fireworks have been tested to ensure they meet the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s requirements.
- Consumer fireworks that rise into the air, explode, travel laterally on the ground or emit projectiles are illegal to possess or use anywhere in Virginia. Local businesses will not sell these fireworks and possession and/or use of these materials is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
- For backyard displays using legal consumer fireworks, wet down the area before use to prevent accidental fires. Ground based fireworks should be placed on open, stable, flat surfaces, keeping onlookers 20ft from the display.
- Adult supervision is critical! Only sober adults should ignite and supervise the use of fireworks. Adults should supervise the use of sparklers as they burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees, hot enough to cause severe burns. Keep children from running while using sparklers as they can be a poking hazard.
- After lighting fireworks, spent fireworks should be soaked overnight and placed in a metal container with a lid. Place the container at least 15ft away from any building or structure so that it may cool overnight. Re-check the container regularly to ensure nothing is smoldering, then properly dispose of the wet materials.
- Never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active. Remember, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. Below is the list of upcoming professional fireworks shows throughout Loudoun County.
Permissible fireworks for personal use may be purchased at stands throughout the county, and may only be used on private property with the consent of the owner. To protect yourself and others, only buy fireworks from permitted stands in Loudoun County because these fireworks have been tested and approved for sale.