The Fourth of July is the symbolic birth of our country, and one of our most treasured summer holidays. However, between the unparalleled use of fireworks and the alcohol consumed in the countless backyard barbecues across the country, the Fourth of July can often be the most dangerous holiday in the year. In the hopes of keeping our nation's holiday both fun, safe, and legal, here are a handful of safety tips for you to use to make sure your July Fourth is one to remember, for the right reasons.
Most Fireworks are Illegal in Maryland
In Maryland, the use of fireworks in private displays is illegal. In order to be a “public” fireworks display, you will need to get a permit from the State Fire Marshal, who will make sure you follow through on some stringent state regulations before issuing a permit. The idea is to keep everyone safe by pushing them towards one of the numerous public displays in the state.
If you do decide to have your own private show, know that possessing illegal fireworks in the state is a misdemeanor crime that carries a fine of up to $250.
There are, however, a limited number of legal fireworks in the state. These include:
- Sparklers that stay on the ground, and that do not explode,
- “Gold-label” hand-held sparklers,
- Cap toys that emit a bang when the cap is lit, so long as the cap itself cannot be touched at the time of the discharge,
- Pellets that produce ash, also known as “snakes,” and
- Snappers wrapped in paper than have less than .03 grams of explosives
Even though sparklers are generally considered to be the safest of all the fireworks made, they still account for 16% of all fireworks injuries. The majority of these injuries are burns to hands and legs, and most of the victims are children.
When using sparklers, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Remember that the lighted tip of the sparkler can be more than 1,000 degrees. Keep it away from all objects, including clothing.
- Do not run or play in the vicinity of ground-based sparklers. This is how many of the leg burns happen.
- Never hand a lit sparkler to another person, especially a child. Instead, hand them an unlit sparkler and then light it for them.
- Sparklers stay hot for long after the flame has burned out, so put extinguished sparklers in a bucket of water immediately after use.
Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys
Unfortunately, even following all of the safety tips does not guarantee that you will be completely safe over the course of the holiday. If someone else is being negligent or unsafe, you could become the victim of their recklessness. If this happens to you, contact the personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162. We will represent you in and out of court, and fight for the compensation that you deserve.