4th of July is right around the corner, which means fireworks will be a hot topic! Be sure to familiarize yourself with state, county and town regulations regarding fireworks before you set them off.
- 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.
Check back closer to the 4th for a list of professional fireworks display in the area!