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Fireworks Safety Urged by Police, Fire Departments

fireworksGround-based sparklers prohibited in Howard County

Area fire and police departments are urging residents to stay safe on Independence Day weekend.

As the July 4 holiday weekend approaches, Howard County fire and rescue officials and police remind residents and businesses to keep their celebrations safe and lawful.

In other parts of the state, certain ground-based sparkling devices are legal, but in Howard County, the sale, possession and use of ground-based sparklers is prohibited. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Handheld sparklers, party poppers, ignitable “snakes” and “snap ’n’ pops” remain legal.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010, there were three deaths and an estimated 8,600 emergency room visits for injuries resulting from fireworks-related incidents. Most fireworks injuries occurred to consumers younger than age 20. Burns and lacerations to the hands, face and head were the most frequently reported injuries. More than half of the injuries were related to firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.

Residents who purchase legal fireworks are encouraged to take the following precautions from the CPSC: Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Allow a safe distance when lighting the fuse of a fireworks device.

Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned. Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

Officials remind residents that the safest way to enjoy the fireworks is attend a display conducted by trained professionals. Read this information on the Howard County fireworks display 

Also remember to avoid alcohol or designate a sober driver before consuming any alcohol this July 4th weekend. Police will also be out in extra force working to keep the roads safe. Saturation patrols will be in place to seek out impaired and aggressive drivers.

Read our full July 4 event listing.

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