Md. State Fire Marshal Warns About Dangers Of Fireworks

He urges Marylanders to watch a public fireworks display for Independence Day.


Baltimore, Md (KM) Along with picnics and watermelon, fireworks are an important part of celebrating Independence Day. But you still need to be safe. Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci says last year, there were 17 fireworks-related injuries in the state, including some hand injuries, and one person who lost sight in one eye.

Geraci says residents need to be careful if they’re planning to shoot off  consumer fireworks to celebrate the 4th. “We see some pretty severe injuries every year, and we’re trying to get the message out. Don’t have a backyard tragedy. Go to a public fireworks display with your family and enjoy a professional show,” he says.

There will be public  fireworks display at Baker Park in Frederick on  Thursday evening, July 4th  as part of the Independence Day  celebrations.

But if you want to set off consumer fireworks, Geraci says it’s important to be safe. Keep a bucket of water nearby for sparklers and other devices after their use. Never attempt to re-light fireworks if they don don’t fully ignite the first time. Don’t set off  fireworks after consuming alcohol or drugs. Do not let children use fireworks or sparklers. Light one firework at a time.

Geraci also says be careful with sparklers as they burn very hot. “They can get to 1200 degree Fahrenheit.,” he says. “You have a piece of metal wire you’re holding on to. We see a lot of children with those. I don’t think they fully understand the dangers,” he says.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says make sure that the fireworks you want to use are legal in Maryland and in your community. Only gold-labeled sparklers, novelty items like party poppers, snap and pops and snakes are legal, along with ground based sparklers.

State law prohibits Cherry Bombs, Black Cats, M-80’s, Cracking Balls  and Smoke Bombs, Roman Candles, Bottle Rockets, Sky Rockets, Helicopter-type Rockets, Spinning Wheels, Moving Tanks or other vehicles, and any firework that’s shot form a mortar tube.

Ground based sparklers are legal if they do not explode, shoot projectiles, move and have a base for the device to sit on.

All  fireworks are illegal in Baltimore city, and Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Ground based sparklers are prohibited in Ocean City, and Harford and Howard Counties.


By Kevin McManus