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Fire Marshal's Office
Fireworks Permit Information

Fireworks Permit Information 

The following are excerpts from the Prince William County Code Chapter 9.1 Article VII and apply to fireworks:
It shall be unlawful for any person firm corporation wholesaler or retailer to sell transport offer for sale or expose for sale any fireworks within Prince William County without a permit from the Fire Marshal's Office. This permit shall be valid for the period June 1 to July 15 of each year.  Such permit shall be issued only after a bond or evidence of liability insurance has been filed with the Fire Marshal's Office having the minimum limits as defined below. Retailing of fireworks shall be done only from a fixed location. Such locations shall comply with all Prince William County rules and regulations applicable to such sites.
The County Fire Marshal may issue permits upon application in writing for the display of unapproved fireworks as defined above for fair associations amusement parks or by any organization or group of individuals providing such display is in general accord with the applicable section of NFPA 1123 and 1124. No permit shall be issued until the organization is insured for five million dollars ($5,000,000) for bodily injury or death of any one person in any one accident and two million dollars ($2000000) for bodily injury or death of more than one person in any one accident and two million dollars ($2000000) for damage to or destruction of property in any one accident. Such insurance shall become available for the payment of any damage arising from neglect of the applicant his agents or his employees. ANY NOISE ASSOCIATED WITH THE DISPLAY OF FIREWORKS MUST COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CODE OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY CHAPTER 14 PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY NOISE ORDINANCE.
A permit fee is charged for issuance of a hazardous use permit for the storage sale offer for sale or exposure for sale of any fireworks. This permit fee may be waived for a charitable religious or fraternal organization upon application and approval of the Board of County Supervisors. This waiver of permit fee in no way exempts the organization from the requirements of obtaining a permit or from the regulations governing the use sale or storage of fireworks.
Sparklers fountains Pharaoh’s serpents caps for pistols and pinwheels (commonly known as whirligigs) spinning jennies or other similar fireworks approved by the Fire Marshal are permissible. Any such fireworks which explode emit flame or sparks to a distance greater than 12 feet rise into the air or travel laterally or perform as a projectile or fire projectiles other than sparks are prohibited. All illegal fireworks will be confiscated and the person responsible may be charged with violation of County or state laws. Permissible fireworks shall have a hard-coated or slow burning fuse at least 1 1/2 inches long with a burning rate of not less than four (4) seconds.  Quick match fuses are prohibited.  Such permissible fireworks shall be used only on private property with the approval of the owner of the property.
Persons engaged in the business of selling or offering to sell fireworks at wholesale shall submit to the County Fire Marshal for approval:
·        At least three samples of each firework proposed to be sold or delivered by such wholesaler.
·        Complete specifications including the manufacturer and trade name of such fireworks and
·        Chemical analysis of each such fireworks so submitted.
No wholesaler shall sell or deliver in the County of Prince William any fireworks other than those so approved.
Records to be kept by wholesaler and retailer:
·        Each wholesaler shall maintain full and complete records of all purchases and sales of fireworks.
·        Each retailer shall maintain full and complete records of all purchases of fireworks.
·        The County Fire Marshal or his designated agent is authorized to examine the books and records of any wholesaler or retailer  
          as they relate to the purchase and sale of fireworks within Prince William County.
The Prince William County Fire Prevention Code states that except as otherwise provided in the code it shall be unlawful for any person firm or corporation to transport manufacture store possess sell offer for sale expose for sale or to buy use ignite or explode any fireworks. Various other sections of the code set forth regulations applicable to the sale of permissible fireworks. These regulations are summarized as follows:
1. Application for a hazardous use permit shall be filed with the Fire Marshal's Office accompanied with a certificate of liability insurance with minimum limits as defined in PERMIT FOR DISPLAY above. A fee shall be charged for each permit and each sales location shall have a separate permit.  When the hazardous use permit is granted it shall be displayed in a conspicuous place at all times at the sales location. 
2. 'NO SMOKING' signs shall be placed every 10 feet of sales area and location where they are visible to persons approaching the stand.
3. One 2A:10B:C rated fire extinguisher shall be provided for every 100 feet of sales area. Extinguishers are to be hung in visible and accessible locations.
4. The stand shall not be less than 50 feet from: (a) buildings of combustible construction (b) opening in building of other construction. A stand closer than 100 to any location as mentioned above shall have side or sides enclosed which face the exposed structure. This enclosure is to be of substantial material that will satisfactorily deflect the discharge of fireworks.
5. No stand shall be located on property where Class I or Class II flammable liquids are stored or dispensed nor shall a stand be located within 100 feet of a dispensing operation.
6. A distance of at least 25 feet from the stand or building shall be kept clear of any brush undergrowth or combustible material capable of spreading fire.
7. All fuses of individual fireworks shall be taped down to prevent their easy ignition.
8. Compliance with the Prince William County noise ordinance.
9. Failure to maintain the above standards shall be the basis for revocation of the hazardous use permit. Granting of a hazardous use permit does not relieve the owner and operator from securing other necessary permits or licenses.
10. Any fireworks which emit flame or sparks to distances greater than 12 feet or perform as a projectile are prohibited.
11. All fireworks shall have prior approval by this office before they can be stored or sold.
12. No person below the age of 18 years of age shall be allowed to engage in the business of selling or offering to sell any fireworks. No wholesaler retailer jobber etc. shall offer or sell any fireworks to any person under 18 years of age shall be prohibited unless the person is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. There shall be a competent person at least 18 years of age in charge of and working in each location at all times.
13. A fireworks retailer must request the permit inspection at least 48 hours in advance. The applicant must have the stand ready for the inspection--this includes having approved fireworks on site and ready for inspection. No fireworks can be sold until the permit has been issued.
14. The above regulations apply generally; however should any outstanding hazard occur as a result of the proposed operations even though the above were met such display and/or sale will not be permitted.
15. Fireworks are not permitted to be sold within any occupancy.
The fee for a permit to display fireworks shall be charged. 
1. All aerial displays of fireworks shall meet the requirements of NFPA 1123. The site for the outdoor display shall have at least a 100 ft. (30.5m) radius per inch of internal mortar diameter of the largest aerial shell to be fired except as noted in Table 3-1.3 (NFPA 1123). No spectators dwellings or spectator parking areas shall be located within the display site.
2. The area selected for the discharge of aerial shells shall be located so that trajectory of the shells will not come within 25 feet of any overhead object.
3. The potential landing area shall be a large clear open area acceptable to the fire official.
4. Spectators vehicles or any readily combustible materials shall not be located within the potential landing area during the display.
5. Only authorized personnel will be allowed within 200 feet of firing point.
6. All fireworks that fire a projectile shall be set up so that the projectile will go into the air as nearly as possible in a vertical direction provided that where such fireworks are to be fired beside a lake or other large body of water they may be directed in such a manner that the falling residue from the deflagration will fall into the said body of water.
7. In the event of a shell failing to ignite in the mortar the mortar shall be left alone for a minimum of 15 minutes then carefully flooded with water and let stand for a minimum of five minutes. Immediately following the display the mortar shall be emptied into a bucket of water. The supplier shall be contacted as soon as possible for proper disposal instructions.
8. Any fireworks that remain unfired after display is concluded shall be immediately disposed of in an approved manner. The debris from the discharged fireworks shall be disposed of properly. A complete search for unfired fireworks shall be made as soon as possible after the display but no later than the first period of daylight which follows.
9. If at any time high winds in excess of 20 miles per hour or unusually wet weather prevail such that in the opinion of either the fire official or the display operator a definite danger exists the public display shall be postponed until weather conditions improve to an acceptable level.
10. No fireworks shall be fired if the winds reach a velocity of more than 20 miles per hour.
11. Portable fire extinguishers or other adequate fire protection will be required at discharge site.
12. Display operators and assistants shall use only flashlights or electric lighting for artificial illumination.
13. No smoking or open flames shall be allowed in the shell storage area as long as shells are present. Signs to this effect shall be conspicuously posted.
14. All fireworks at place of display must be stored in a manner approved by the fire official.
15. Storage of fireworks shall be isolated from the general public.
16. Fireworks shall be covered with a noncombustible tarp during the period of storage and firing.
17. No alcohol shall be consumed by individuals who are engaged in the presentation of the display.
18. All operators shall be at least 21 years of age. Assistants shall be at least 18 years of age.
19. An adequate number of operators assistants and monitors shall be on hand to conduct the display. At no time shall there be less than two operators on duty.
20. A method of communication shall be on or near the display site in the event of an emergency. The Prince William County Fire Marshal's Office and the Communications Center (phone number 9-1-1) shall be immediately notified in the event of fire and/or injury.
21.Monitors whose sole duty shall be the enforcement of crowd control shall be located around the display area by the sponsor. The authority having jurisdiction shall approve the provisions for crowd control.
22. The sponsor of the display shall provide adequate fire protection for the display.


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