4th of July safety tips from Annapolis Fire Department

| July 1, 2014 | 1 Comment

annapolis fire departmentA Fourth of July celebration is traditionally synonymous with beautiful fireworks displays, bright colors and loud pops in the sky.  Fireworks can be safe if used correctly but they can also be responsible for injury if some safety rules are not followed.  As this Fourth of July approaches the Annapolis Fire Department wants to give you some safety tips to keep you safe.

Fireworks and other flame effects are inherently dangerous devices.  Extreme care should always be exercised when handling these items.  Fireworkscan burn upto 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks were responsible for 17,800 fires in 2011, which included 1,200 structures and 400 vehicles.  $1.5 Million worth of property damage was caused in Maryland in 2011 due to misuse of fireworks, and roughly 9,000 injuries nationwide.  On average, nationally, fireworks are responsible for approximately 200 visits to hospital emergency rooms each day around the July 4th holiday.

Maryland law:

It is illegal to cross state lines and import fireworks for backyard celebrations.  Fines may be levied of up to $250.00 for each firework device.  Possession or use of explosive fireworks or large firecrackers such as M-100’s or “Quarter-sticks” can carry a felony charge and a fine up to $250,000 and up to 25 years in prison.  For your safety, and that of your guests, we urge you to keep it safe and only use legal fireworks this season.  We encourage you to leave the fireworks displays to professionals and enjoy one of the many displays in our area.

Please be aware that each Maryland County has slightly different fireworks laws.  In Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Montgomery County there is a complete ban on all fireworks.  In Anne Arundel County, including the City of Annapolis, the following types are LEGAL:  Sparklers, fountains, crackle and strobe, wheels and spinners, and other certain novelties.  As a general rule, sparklers and any ground based fireworks are legal.  Anything that launches, explodes, or flies are NOT legal.

Here are some safety tips to keep you safe…

– If you do purchase fireworks this season, always purchase from a reliable source and place them in your trunk while transporting.

– Place fireworks in a spark-proof container such as a cardboard box. (Never carry fireworks on your body.)

– Never smoke or use any flame devices near fireworks.

– Never attempt to light a firework’s fuse indoors or in a vehicle.

– Never attempt to light or handle fireworks after consuming alcohol.

– Have one designated person (wearing safety glasses) to organize and ignite the fireworks safely.

– Use fireworks as directed on the consumer product safety label.

– Always have water ready to place the expired fire work in to soak for at least 20 minutes, after it is used.

– Never attempt to relight a fire work “dud”, or one which fails to ignite on the initial attempt.

The Annapolis Fire Department wants you to enjoy this holiday safely.  We encourage you to leave the fireworks to the professionals.  Come join us in celebrating our nation’s Independence Day celebration in America’s first peacetime national capital, Annapolis.  Festivities begin at 6:30 PM with the Annual Annapolis Independence Day Parade.  The parade begins at Amos Garret Boulevard, proceeds in on West Street, around Church Circle, down Main Street, turning left on Randall Street, in front of the Market House, ending at Susan B. Campbell Park.  The United States Naval Academy’s Concert Band will perform a concert at Campbell Park, beginning at 8:00 PM.  The City’s Annual fireworks display, over the City Harbor is scheduled to begin around 9:15 PM.  We wish you a holiday full of fun and safety, and hope to see you at our annual Independence Day events.

Source: AFD

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Category: Local News, NEWS

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