May 20, 2024
Annapolis, US 62 F

Tips For A Safe Fourth of July from the Annapolis Fire Department

The Fourth of July celebration is traditionally known for delicious grilled food, family fun, and beautiful fireworks. While fireworks can be fun to watch, “Using them in an unsafe and incorrect manner may lead to serious injury or death, in addition, structure fires have occurred from non-ground-based fireworks that don’t land where people want them to land, so it is best to leave the fireworks to the professionals.” says Annapolis Fire Chief Douglas Remaley.

As many residents and guests look forward to celebrating this summer holiday, the Annapolis Fire Department wants you to pay close attention to these important reminders. Fireworks and other flame effects devices are extremely dangerous and can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  Extreme caution and care should always be exercised when handling these items.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2020 report:

  • Fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2019 of which 7,300 injuries occurred between June 21 and July 21.
  • Children 0 to 4 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries.
  • There were an estimated 900 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.
  • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers, legs, eyes, head, face, and ears.

Maryland Law:

It is illegal to cross state lines and import fireworks for backyard celebrations.  Fines may be levied up to $250 for each firework device.  Possession or use of explosive fireworks or large firecrackers such as M-100s or “Quarter-sticks” can carry a felony charge, large fines, and time 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.

In Anne Arundel County, including the City of Annapolis, the following types are legal:

  • Sparklers
  • Fountains
  • Crackle and Strobe
  • Wheels and Spinners
  • Other certain novelties.

As a general rule, sparklers and any ground-based fireworks are legal.  Anything that launches explodes, or flies is illegal.

 Here are some safety tips to keep you safe:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Annapolis residents may drop off expired or surplus fireworks and flares at any City Fire Station or Fire Headquarters with the presentation of a valid Maryland Drivers license showing an address located in the City of Annapolis’ jurisdiction.

  • Headquarters / Forest Drive Fire Station – 1790 Forest Drive
  • Eastport Fire Station – 914 Bay Ridge Avenue
  • Taylor Avenue Fire Station – 620 Taylor Avenue
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