State Fire Marshal Warns About Hazards Of Illegal Fireworks

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Leave the fireworks to the professionals. That’s the message from the Maryland fire marshal as we get ready to celebrate our country’s birthday.

Andrea Fujii has the story.

It’s tradition to mark the fourth of July with fireworks. But at a fireworks demonstration, the state fire marshal warns what could happen if illegal fireworks get in the wrong hands.

“It is a reason to celebrate, but one quick act can just ruin all of that instantly,” said William Barnard, state fire marshal.

Nine thousand people a year are injured by fireworks around the country. Half are under the age of 21.

“Explosive injuries like this do a lot of damage to your hand,” said Dr. Raymond Wittstadt, Union Memorial. “They usually remove parts of your fingers, fracture fingers.”

Fireworks are not legal in Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. If caught, fines range from $250 to $1000.

Most the rest of the state can use sparklers and novelty items, but rockets and explosive devices are banned.

Don’t go out-of-state to Pennsylvania or South Carolina or somewhere else to bring the product in because then you could run afoul with the law,” Barnard said.

Firefighters also worry because it’s been a dry season. Last year fireworks caused 31 fires in Maryland.

The fire marshal hopes Marylanders will instead enjoy the hundreds of free fireworks shows across the state because the risks of doing it yourself is too high.

To find out what fireworks are legal where you live, click here.


    the state allows to sell fire works in bjs but donot usem

    • Jonathan Chiles

      You should definitely not be able to use them, you can’t even write a sentence.

    • Chelle Martz

      It’s like selling Mace and not being able to protect yourself with it. Makes no sense, right?

  • Kimberly Blackwell

    no the ones they sell here in maryland are not the real or the good ones its just like stupid sparklers,poppers,snakes little dumb stuff if u want the real mccoy u gotta go out of state

    • Chelle Martz

      There’s a stand in front of K Mart on Bel Air Road that was selling more than snakes, sparklers and little dumb stuff. My neighbors have been going crazy with some pretty impressive stuff that they purchased from there. It’s simple: Keep off the booze, stay responsible and read the directions. The risks of accidents are much less when left in the hands of someone who is responsible and actually knows what they’re doing. However… lighting them off in a neighborhood of row homes – not so brilliant.

  • Alfred

    If they don’t want us to bring them in the state then why does Pennsylvania welcome us with open arms, yet their residents can’t use them either without a permit? The ones that are sold at Giant Stores in Anne Arundel County are that of Phantom Fireworks, the same company that sells the fireworks that are deemed “illegal”. They aren’t really dangerous if shot off in an open field away from trees and homes.

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