Although most people associate fireworks with Fourth of July, June is fireworks safety month – and Prince William County officials are cracking down on illegal fireworks.
Almost two-thirds of fireworks-related injuries occur between June 17 and July 17 nationally, the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue reported.
The Department of Fire and Rescue and Prince William County Police will team up to promote fireworks safety and stop the use of illegal fireworks. The slogan: “Illegal Fireworks ‘If You Light It, We’ll Write It’ – Leave Fireworks to the Professionals.”
In Prince William County, using illegal fireworks is a Class 1 misdemeanor – that means fines can reach up to $2,500 and offenders can spend up to a year in jail.
Legal fireworks include anything sold at a fireworks stand in Prince William County (full list here). Other, surrounding jurisdictions may sell fireworks not allowed in Prince William County. (See this FAQ about fireworks in Prince William County for details.)
The safest thing to do is not use fireworks at all – but here are some fireworks safety tips from the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue, anyway:
- Fireworks should only be used on a hard, flat, outdoor, non-flammable surface (like a driveway) away from trees, brush and grass that could ignite.
- Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction or fail to go off.
- Keep a bucket of water handy.
- Make sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in case their clothing catches fire.
- Read more tips here.
If you would like to dispose of illegal fireworks, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-792-6360 or go to www.pwcgov.org/fire. There is no penalty for turning in illegal fireworks.