BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They are packaged to sell excitement — but in some places, like Baltimore and Ocean City, all fireworks are illegal.
And for the rest of the state?
“Anything that explodes or flies in the air us illegal, that’s pretty much the rule of thumb,” according to State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci.
Because even a small firecracker can cause injuries. When a hardboiled egg is used to represent a human eye, a firecracker exploding too close can be catastrophic.
“The depth of that wound is a good one-third of an inch into the egg,” said eye surgeon Dr. Dean Fiergang. “If you have that type of trauma to an eyeball itself, it would be devastating. You’d see all sorts of different trauma in there, where it’s the iris or bleeding in the iris or glaucoma.”
Even simple legal sparkles produce blow torch heat.
Ever Fourth of July, Maryland emergency rooms see burns.
“Over the last ten years, our patients have ranged in age from three months to 17,” according to Beatrice Brathwaite with Hopkins Children’s Center. “So it’s not only the kids that are lighting the fireworks. It’s the innocent bystanders as well.”
The larger the explosive device, the greater the damage. Especially dangerous are the M-80s, which are frequently homemade or bought on the black market.
If one explodes in a hand, Dr. Ryan Zimmerman said, “you can hurt tendons, arteries, bones and even lose some or all of your fingers, even your entire hand.”
The best advice — leave the fireworks to the professionals.
For more July 4th stories, click here.