WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE THE 4TH OF JULY FESTIVITIES BEGIN
Fireworks are a popular part of celebrating the 4th of July holiday, but thousands of people are injured every year by fireworks. 50% of the injuries caused by fireworks are burns, and 20% of the injuries are to the eyes. Regulations exist to try and prevent injuries, and most fireworks are legal in Virginia by permit only. The list of prohibited or permit-only consumer fireworks includes: firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes or any other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, or rise into the air.
So what fireworks can you legally use?
The list of fireworks allowed in Virginia includes sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels, and whirligigs that are available through licensed vendors. More information on legal fireworks in the state of Virginia can be found on the Virginia Department of Forestry website.
Safety First! 10 Tips to avoid Fireworks Injuries:
- Always have a responsible adult supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees!
- Set family boundaries and designate a responsible adult to light all fireworks.
- Never throw or hold any fireworks in your hand, and do not carry them in your pockets.
- Always read and follow the directions on the label.
- Find a safe place outdoors, away from wooded and grassy areas, and buildings. (paved parking lots, driveways, and gravel or dirt areas are best)
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy.
- Do not use under the influence of alcohol.
- Monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.
Looking for a local fireworks display around Virginia?
While enjoying your own fireworks can be fun, it might be worth finding a professional display in your area and there are lots of great displays around! Historic downtown Leesburg hosts a 4th of July parade starting at 10am and later in the day, a concert followed by a grand fireworks display.
The state’s largest fireworks display will take place on the James River in Richmond on July 3rd with festivities starting in several locations at 6PM.
Chesterfield County will host their own display at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds at dusk on July 4th.
Reston’s fireworks will be at Lake Fairfax Park with festivities beginning at 4PM on July 4th. Herndon, Vienna, and other Northern Virginia towns will have their own celebrations.
To find fireworks in your local area check here.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!