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State Fire Marshal Warns Of Fireworks Danger

June 30th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci joined Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Deputy Chief Gordon Wallace this morning and leaders in various medical fields to present the dangers of legal and illegal fireworks. 

"There were numerous fireworks-related incidents reported in Maryland last year," said State Fire Marshal Geraci. "Prevention of burns, injuries, and fires has always been a top priority of our office. The safest way to enjoy fireworks this July 4th holiday season is to attend one of the many public fireworks displays throughout the state." 

The safety demonstration, conducted by the State Fire Marshal's Bomb Squad, showed the impacts of M-80s, firecrackers, and even sparklers on various parts of the human body, including the hands and eyes.

"A sparkler can burn hot enough to melt gold," said Dr. Dean Fiergang, an ophthalmologist and executive board member of the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. "While advancements in ophthalmic surgery have come a long way, there is very little that can be done when extreme temperatures make contact with the human eye." 

If you insist on viewing fireworks at home instead of at a recommended professional display, you are encouraged to do the following:

  • Keep a bucket of water on hand for sparklers and other fireworks after use
  • Never attempt to re-light fireworks that did not fully ignite the first time
  • Never use fireworks in combination with alcohol and other drugs
  • Never allow children to use fireworks or sparklers
  • Light fireworks one at a time and move away quickly after igniting
  • Look up your county's local fireworks rules to ensure you are using only legal fireworks products