Fireworks Facts and Safety Tips

One of many city trash cans filled to the brim after last year's 4th of July

MPD reminds residents that before they purchase an expensive haul of fireworks, make sure that you can legally ignite and use them in the District. In general, any firework that explodes is illegal in the city. Any person found using or in the possession of illegal fireworks in D.C. could face fines and penalties of up to $2,000 and/or arrest for further prosecution.

The types of fireworks that cause the most injuries include firecrackers, sparklers, and rockets. Sparklers were associated with over half of the estimated injuries among children under 5 years. Children 14 years and younger sustain about 45% of firework related injuries each year.
Characteristics of Illegal Fireworks

An illegal firework as defined in Article 27 of the D.C.
Official Code may have any of the following traits:

  1. Any firework that moves;
  2. Any firework that explodes;
  3. Any firework that emits a spark or flame greater than 12 feet;
  4. Any firework that has a side-mounted fuse or a fuse inserted at any point along the length of the product’s surface;
  5. Any firework that contains mercury (Hg), arsenic (Ar), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (Ph), or any other highly-oxidizing agent;
  6. Any firework that the Fire Marshal considers to be dangerous to the safety of any person or property;

For more information visit the MPD website or click on the image below.

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3 Comments on “Fireworks Facts and Safety Tips”

  1. Steve Davis Says:

    Which makes it all the more perplexing that they let all the stands set up and sell pretty much everything you listed that’s illegal, including the one in front of Sweet Mango. (Not that I really mind, though. One of my favorite parts of watching at Cardozo is seeing all the neighborhood displays on the way home.) But it seems strange that they’d let people sell the stuff that’s prohibited by DC regs.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    There must be a fee associated with the permit to set up the stand and sell; since DC is hurting, I hope it’s a large sum.

  3. Sam Says:

    They probably turn a blind eye because people will get them illegally anyway. July 4th is my least favorite day in this area, we can’t use our alley for parking, the people setting of fireworks have no regard for trash, or other people in the area. It’s pathetic that you can light up fireworks outside the metro entrance


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