“Setting off fireworks increases the risk of injury and you may also risk violating local ordinances and state law,” Weller said.
Be aware that certain fireworks are illegal in Virginia under § 27-95 of the Code of Virginia. Prohibited fireworks are defined as: “Any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket, or other substance or object, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or inflammable compound or substance, and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks and which explodes, rises into the air or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air.”
Before purchasing fireworks check with your locality to determine what fireworks, if any, are allowed where you live. If caught with illegal fireworks they may be confiscated – or worse you may be charged with a violation of county or state laws which can result in fines of up to $2,500 and jail time.
If you insist on celebrating at home, Weller says that safety and supervision are keys to a successful, injury-free celebration.
The City recommends that you observe the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Report illegal fireworks/explosives to 540-332-3842.
According to state law, persons under 18 cannot purchase fireworks. Local vendors are required to obtain a permit to sell fireworks within the City limits. Aerial displays require a permit also, along with other state regulations that must be followed. ###