The 4th of July weekend is here. Many are looking forward to fiestas, family fun and yes, fireworks for the fourth. The Albemarle County website offers Guidelines for Safe and Legal Fireworks from the Police and Fire Rescue Departments, posted 6/28/2010. Here’s an excerpt:
“As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, public safety officials are advising citizens on guidelines for the safe and legal sale and use of fireworks. It is illegal for any person or business to transport, manufacture, store, sell, purchase or ignite any fireworks that explode, rise into the air or travel laterally, or fire projectiles into the air other than sparks. This law does not pertain to public or private displays conducted by qualified personnel operating under a valid permit issued by the County Fire/Rescue Division Office.”
Which fireworks are legal for DIY fireworks at your own family 4th of July party?
According to the Albemarle County website:
Fireworks which are legal for public use include sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, and pinwheels, although these fireworks must be ignited on private property with the property owner’s consent.
Albemarle County also offers these Safety Tips when Using Fireworks:
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Always have a responsible adult present.
- Buy fireworks from reliable vendors.
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
- Light only one (1) firework at a time.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 15-20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Always wear eyes and ear protection when igniting fireworks.
- Never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Never use illegal fireworks or explosives.
If you have any questions, you can call Albemarle County Fire/Rescue Division at (434)296-5833.
Your Charlottesville Family & Parenting Examiner has a bad memory of being hurt by fireworks as a child during what was meant to be some family fun. I was holding what we called “squibs” and after an adult’s attempt at lighting them, we believed that the wind blew it out and that it was not in fact lit. I continued to hold them, waiting for a re-light, when they exploded in my hand. I had severe and very painful swelling. My hand looked like I was wearing a purple baseball glove.
The 4th of July family fun stops being fun if someone gets hurt. Your Charlottesville Family & Parenting Examiner wishes you a fun & safe 4th of July weekend.