Good to go: Ground-based sparklers containing no chlorates or perchlorates (check the label before buying). This means fountains, sparklers, and novelty items such as poppers, snakes, and champagne sparklers. For a brand-specific list of consumer pyrotechnics approved for private displays, click here.
Leave it to the experts: Maryland is fairly strict with private fireworks shows—explosive, air-bound devices are prohibited without the permits and insurance necessary to create a public display. Anything that creates a detonation, launches a projectile, or moves along the ground under its own power is also punishable by law. If you want to get specific, click here for the fire marshal’s state code.
Insider tip: Prince George’s and Montgomery counties have banned all consumer fireworks, and Baltimore recently approved the use of sparklers within city confines. The state also has age-specific purchasing restrictions, so anyone under 16 should make other plans.
Where to buy them: The Laurel Wal-Mart (3549 Russett Green E.) offers prepackaged assortments of “safe and sane” fireworks. To shop à la carte, head up the road in the direction of Route 1. There’s a stand on the same side of 198 as the Wal-Mart super center, about two lights up.
Of course, the pluses of a private display are canceled out if the fireworks aren’t done correctly. Here are tips for ensuring a safe at-home celebration, courtesy of the DC government:
• Always read and follow label directions.
• Always have an adult present.
• Ignite fireworks only outdoors.
• Always have water or sand nearby to extinguish fireworks after use.
• Never experiment or attempt to make fireworks.
• Light fireworks one item at a time.
• Never relight malfunctioning or dud fireworks.
• Store fireworks out of the reach of children.
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
• Never throw fireworks at another person.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Stand at least 15 feet from burning cones and fountains.
• Do not light fireworks near combustibles, such as gasoline, newspapers, etc.
• Do not ignite fireworks that have been wet and then dried.
• Do not light fireworks anyplace other than at the fuse.
• Do not use illegal fireworks.
• Use only items that have a label clearly listing the manufacturer’s name, address, and warnings
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers this instructional video, which provides useful shopping tips and safe ignition procedures.
Where do you buy your fireworks, Washingtonians? Let us know in the comments!
Things That Go Boom
Comments () | Published June 29, 2009