MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md (WDVM) — If you plan on celebrating this upcoming Fourth of July with sparklers and fireworks, the Maryland Fire Marshal is warning you to think twice.
Officials say every year around the summer holiday, the state responds to injuries and fires as a result of fireworks and other explosives.
Fireworks are prohibited in six jurisdictions around the state: Baltimore City, Ocean City, Harford County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County.
And in the areas where they are allowed, fireworks must be ground-based and not explode up into the air.
“Read all the instructions, follow everything on the labels,” advises Brian Geraci, Maryland Fire Marshal, “Common injuries we see are to the hands and to the eyes. Usually folks are trying to throw something or they’re trying to get rid of something. Sparklers can reach up to 1,200 degrees, just as hot as a blowtorch.”
The state fire marshal also advises against re-igniting a firework that didn’t go off the first time. Wait 15-to-20 minutes, and if it fails to spark, discard it.
When the explosives are finished, soak them in a bucket of water before tossing them out.
Officials add that safe alternatives to sparklers can be glow sticks, confetti and colorful streamers.
And for fireworks, the fire marshal advises checking out a local display put on by professionals.