The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display. These are conducted by licensed professionals and the firework sites are inspected and receive approval prior to the events. With many 4th of July fireworks displays cancelled due to COVID-19 safety concerns, people may choose to celebrate with firework displays at home. Be Sure to follow state and local guidelines as well as all safety instructions and take extra care if this is your first time handling fireworks.
- The use of fireworks is illegal in Maryland, unless the fireworks are part of a public display for which the State Fire Marshal has granted a permit.
- Consumer use of fireworks and sparklers is illegal in Baltimore County; Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties; and in Ocean City. For additional details, contact the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal.
- You cannot have a private display of fireworks at your home. All fireworks displays, regardless of location, require the proper permits and insurance.
- It is legal for consumers to purchase and use some hand-held and ground-based sparkler devices. Under Maryland law, the following are not classified as fireworks and are legal for backyard use:
- Toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns and other devices that use paper caps if the devices are constructed so that a hand cannot touch the cap when the cap is in place for use.
- Hand-held sparklers that do not contain chlorates or perchlorates (use “gold label” only).
- Ground based sparkling devices that are non-aerial and non-explosive. Legal ground-based sparklers are stationary, sit on the ground and emit a shower of sparks several feet into the air. Some may whistle, but they do not pop or crack. They do not explode, shoot projectiles or move along the ground.
- Paper-wrapped snappers that contain less than .03 grains of explosive composition.
- Ash-producing pellets known as “snakes.”
- The sale, possession, and use of fireworks, including sparklers and sky lanterns are illegal within the state. Contact the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal.
- Sparklers and ground based items may be purchased by someone who is 18+ years old and sold in Delaware only on these dates: June 4th – July 4th, and December 1st – January 1st.
- Sparklers and ground based items may only be used in Delaware on July 4th, December 31st, and January 1st.
Be aware, be safe, be responsible, and be prepared:
- Use only legal fireworks.
- Only use fireworks in approved areas.
- Check with local authorities.
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Only adults should light fireworks. Keep ignition sources away from children.
- Use fireworks only outdoors.
- Have a garden hose or buckets of water in the area where fireworks are being used.
- Light only one firework at a time and move quickly away from the firework.
- Keep children and pets away from fireworks. Place pets indoors since the light and sound may frighten them.
- Never light fireworks in your hands.
- Never throw fireworks.
- Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water. If a firework did not go off, wait 15-20 minutes before soaking in water.
- Never attempt to re-light a firework that does not go off.
- Clean up debris from fireworks.