Fireworks Fun

Be safe, respect your neighbors and have a blast!

By Hollie Williams June 28, 2018

With schools finally out and summer in full swing the 4th of July celebrations are fast approaching. This is a holiday that sees a substantial rise in injuries to both children and adults due to the use of consumer fireworks.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission compiles data each year in regards to the statistics on these injuries.  

According to the most recent published report an estimated 11,100 injuries were treated at hospitals during the 2016 calendar year.  During that same year a one month study period was conducted around the 4th of July holiday and it showed that 68 percent all the fireworks injuries occurred during that timeframe.  This amounted to an estimated 7,600 injuries and children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 31 percent of the injuries. 

In the Commonwealth of Virginia the enforcing authority for firework laws is the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, Office of the State Fire Marshall.Virginia laws outline what types of fireworks are allowed in Virginia.  These laws vary by state and some do not allow fireworks at all.  In Virginia, the following fireworks are permitted: sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels, and whirligigs.Prohibited fireworks in Virginia include: firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes, and other fireworks which explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air.This information can be found on the website at

While celebrating this year please consider your neighbors when selecting a location to light your fireworks.  Your neighbors may have pets that are easily startled by the noises created by your celebration and they may have a difficult time controlling them.  Suggest that pets be put indoors during the fireworks. A lot of animals may do better while crated and it will be easier on the owners as well.   Veterans and currently military members having issues with PTSD could also have problems with the loud noises from your fireworks.  If you know that one of your neighbors suffers from this condition a change of location might be appropriate, also be considerate to how late and how long your fireworks last. 

Here are some tips to consider when celebrating this 4th of July to keep yourself and family safe:

  • Children should be closely supervised at ALL times. Have a designated adult light all fireworks. Do NOT allow young children to light fireworks. 
  •  Sparklers cause nearly ¼ of all injuries seen at the emergency room. Many of those injuries are to children. Sparklers burn at approx. 1200 degrees according to NFPA.  
  • Do not use fireworks indoors.  Read the labels on all fireworks.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and never re-light a “dud” firework.  If you have a “dud” firework, an adult should wait at least 15 minutes, then approach it and using a tool such as a shovel and carefully put it in a bucket of water.
  • While using fireworks outdoors remember to do so in a safe area away from woods, fields, grassy areas, and buildings.
  • The best place is to use them in driveways, parking lots, gravel, or dirt areas.
  • Adults should not use fireworks while under the influence. 
  • Have a rake or shovel, bucket of water, wet towel, and a garden hose nearby.
  • Monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly.  Soak them completely in water before putting them in the trash can to ensure they are out.

Looking for Fireworks near the 'Burg?   

Check out the Stars and Stripes Spectacular on June 30th, 2018 & July 4, 2018 Heritage Day Festival:

Learn more about how fireworks work here: