Leave fireworks to the professionals

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, July 2, 2014

RICHMOND—Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially on and around July 4th, but if you do not take the proper fireworks safety precautions your celebrations could come to a sudden and possibly tragic conclusion. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs and the State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind everyone not to forget about fireworks safety as they make their holiday preparations. The following life-saving, injury prevention tips are provided to assist citizens with their planning efforts:

Remember, the safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and property damage is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals. Many localities provide safe, community fireworks displays. Check with you local parks and recreation division or visit your locality’s activity website for details.

Did you know that many fireworks are illegal in Virginia? Before purchasing fireworks check with your local fire marshal’s office, or the State Fire Marshal, to determine what fireworks, if any, are permissible in your locality. If caught with illegal fireworks they may be confiscated — or worse you may be charged with a violation of county or state laws.

If you plan to discharge approved fireworks on your property do the following:

Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that do not go off.

Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.

Be sure all people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

Do not light fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal containers.

Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas, preferably in a dry, cool location.

Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If the fireworks are not marked with the contents, directions, and warning labels, do not light them.

Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

More comprehensive fireworks safety information can be found at: Fireworks Safety

More information about fireworks in Virginia can be found at www.vafire.com/state_fire_marshal/fireworks.htm

“We want to emphasize to our citizens that even permissible fireworks are dangerous and we urge extreme caution in the use of them,” said Ed Altizer, Virginia State Fire Marshal. “The best way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a professional fireworks display where the fireworks are under a controlled setting and monitored by public safety officials.”