EASTERN PANHANDLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — With the Fourth of July just around the corner, many will think about enjoying a more “private” fireworks display for the holiday — but the laws surrounding fireworks can vary from state-level to county ordinances to even city legislation. West Virginians, do you know the fireworks laws where you live?
In the Mountain State, all consumer fireworks are legal for purchase. Things like firecrackers, skyrockets, and roman candles are on the list of permitted displays.
WDVM explains the laws of the different municipalities in the Eastern Panhandle.
In Morgan County, specifically Berkeley Springs, discharging fireworks within town limits is a public nuisance and can’t be discharged within 500 feet of any residence, hospital, nursing home or other facility in which people live, sleep and rest.
In Jefferson County’s city of Ranson, the law is similar however, a special, non-transferable permit can be granted by the State Fire Marshal for public displays of fireworks after inspection of the fireworks.
In Berkeley County, legal consumer fireworks can be set off on any day between 5 and 10 p.m. with special exceptions for holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. However, in the City of Martinsburg, the law on discharging fireworks is much more strict.
Lt. Justin Darby from the Martinsburg Police Department wants to remind residents that fireworks of any kind are not permitted within city limits.
“While there’s a variety of fireworks that are available for purchase in the state of West Virginia, several of these fireworks that you can purchase are illegal to set off or light in the municipal city limits,” Lt. Darby explained. “Those major ones are the mortars, or large firecrackers, things of that nature, and it can hold up to a $500 fine.”
While fireworks are banned within Martinsburg city limits, there will be a city-sponsored fireworks display for the Fourth of July at Townsend Farm.
Martinsburg Police also advised that if you do set off fireworks to do so safely and always wear proper protection like gloves and goggles as well as have water or a fire extinguisher nearby.