Fire Marshal: Fireworks Safety this Holiday Weekend


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Fire officials are warning residents to be careful with fireworks this 4th of July holiday weekend. 

"July 4th is the busiest day for fire related incidents in the United States and more than half of those are caused by fireworks,” said Hagerstown Fire Marshal Douglas DeHaven.

DeHaven also adds that it is important to obey your state's laws. In the four state-region, most fireworks that stay on the ground are okay to use. That includes hand-held sparklers and fountains, but anything that shoots up into the air is most likely illegal.

"There's a very serious injury and fire risk with the illegal products that come in from other states,” said DeHaven.

No matter what type of fireworks you're using, they say it's important to keep a few safety tips in mind:

-Teens should always be supervised by an adult, and children should not be allowed to handle fireworks

-Always have water on hand

-Keep alcohol away from the fireworks

-Only light one at a time

-Only use outdoors

-Obey local laws

-Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks

-Never re-light a "dud" firework

-Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives

-Step away after lighting them, even fountain fireworks that stay on the ground

"Especially for children. They need to be kept back a fair amount,” said DeHaven. “We're looking for 10 to 20 feet, depending on the size of the fountain would be a safe distance."

Fire officials also say all used fireworks should be soaked in water before being thrown out into an outdoor, fire resistant garbage can.

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