NEWS RELEASE (June 25th): Police and Fire urge residents to leave fireworks to the professionals; ground-based sparklers are illegal in Howard County

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) urge residents and businesses to keep their July 4th celebrations safe next week and throughout the year.

“We all look forward to celebrating our nation’s independence with family and friends on the Fourth of July. I encourage everyone to keep their celebration safe and legal by following the advice of our Police and Fire Departments when it comes to fireworks,” said Howard County Executive Ball. “The best way to enjoy a great fireworks display is to attend our Fourth of July celebration at the Columbia Lakefront. I look forward to seeing you there and enjoying a beloved American tradition, together.”

In Howard County, the sale, possession, and residential use of ground-based sparklers is prohibited. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. While devices known as party poppers, ignitable snakes, snap ’n pops and handheld sparklers are legal, they can be dangerous. Handheld sparkers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause significant injuries.

On average, 8,700 people throughout the United States go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during the one-month period surrounding Independence Day, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Those who do purchase legal fireworks should follow these safety tips from the CPSC:
• After a display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be
active and/or hot to the touch.
• Douse used fireworks with a significant amount of water and leave them for several hours.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire.
• Adults should always supervise fireworks activities and never let children handle fireworks.
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

Please stay safe and leave fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July. For more information about the Howard County fireworks event: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/July4th. Uniformed and plainclothes police officers will be attending the event to ensure crowd safety.

Media Advisory: The Bomb Squad from the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal will host a safety briefing and demonstration of legal and illegal explosive devices for the media on June 26 at 10 a.m. in Howard County at the James N. Robey Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville. Click here for more information: https://twitter.com/marylandosfm/status/1141742738179858439…

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It is not uncommon to hear fireworks going off in many locations throughout Howard County on July 4th..and not all locations are “legal”…so…a big takeaway from this is “In Howard County, the sale, possession, and residential use of ground-based sparklers is prohibited. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. While devices known as party poppers, ignitable snakes, snap ’n pops and handheld sparklers are legal, they can be dangerous“.

Scott E