On Thursday, June 21st at 10:30 a.m., fire officials from across the metropolitan area conducted a fireworks safety news conference and safety demonstration at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville.
The event provided the media an opportunity to view legal and illegal fireworks. Area Fire Chiefs and Fire Marshals were on hand and addressed the dangers associated with the use of illegal fireworks while demonstrating how fireworks are mishandled and improperly used.
The Montgomery and Prince Georges County Bomb Squads and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were also on hand as a precaution during the live demonstration of explosive fire work devices.
This year’s theme, leading up to and through the Fourth of July Holiday, is “Leave Fireworks to the Professionals.” Each year, locally and across the U.S., people of all ages are seriously injured by fireworks – legal and illegal. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 83% of fireworks injuries treated in emergency rooms involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use. Fire officials are encouraging people that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to not use fireworks and visit the various public displays throughout the region at counties, cities, towns, parks and other venues. (Check with your locality.)
“You Light It, We’ll Write It!”
During the 4th of July weekend, Prince William County Fire Marshals and Police Officers will patrol the region looking for and confiscating illegal fireworks. Violators will be charged with the offence and will be required to appear in court. In Virginia, the use of illegal fireworks is a Class 1 misdemeanor in which a person could receive jail time of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,500.00.
For more information about selecting and using legal fireworks, or if you would like to safely dispose of illegal fireworks, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-792-6360, or visit our website at www.pwcgov.org/fire. Turning in illegal fireworks will not result in any fines or summons, and no questions will be asked.