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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave Backyard Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

The use of fireworks on New Years Eve into New Years Day is second only to the Fourth of July.   Citizens, residents and visitors should be aware that the use of all consumer fireworks in Prince George's County is illegal.  Firefighters and Paramedics recommend that you leave the pyrotechnics to the experts and leave consumer purchased fireworks out of your celebration planning.

Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.  The danger is particularly high and a matter of concern for firefighters and paramedics as many New Year celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol may impair the judgement and common sense of the most well-intentioned individual and cause injury to themselves or innocent by-standers and ignite a fire.

The Law in Prince George’s County.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." 

Remember, SAFETY FIRST, will ensure everyone goes home.

Keep in mind that other jurisdictions allow the use of certain consumer fireworks.  Do not be confused with our law in Prince George's County - all consumer fireworks are illegal.  

This is a News Release recently posted by the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

       Maryland State Fire Marshal

News Release

         STATEWIDE (December 31, 2013) – With the arrival of the New Year, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is suggesting that Marylanders should attend public fireworks displays. “I would suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the public fireworks displays offered throughout the state.” stated Geraci.  To help Marylanders enjoy a safer start to the New Year, the State Fire Marshal offers several ways to enjoy fireworks while avoiding injury:

  • Consider attending a professional public fireworks display instead of taking the chance on a potential injury from a private display.  Leave fireworks to the professionals.

     For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:

  • Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
  • Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
  • Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose available
  • Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.

“Fireworks have been a long tradition of New Year’s celebrations.  Please make safety your number one priority so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.” adds the State Fire Marshal. “By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate fireworks injuries and property damage in Maryland.”


          The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering.  For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: www.mdsp.org/firemarshal and/or http://facebook.com/MarylandStateFireMarshal.
Media contact: Bruce D. Bouch, Deputy State Fire Marshal; 443-324-6876

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