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Fire Marshal's Office urges safety during July 4 holiday

July 02, 2012

The Hagerstown Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding the community to be safe while enjoying the July 4 holiday.

“Fireworks are a favored July Fourth tradition, and citizens should know how to use the fireworks safely, responsibly and legally,” City of Hagerstown spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said in a news release.

Reading the label helps to determine if a firework is legal or illegal. Examples of legal fireworks will have phrases printed on them such as “emits showers of sparks” or simply “flammable,” Wolfe said.

Illegal fireworks will have phrases like “shoots flaming balls with report,” “flammable with report” or “shoots whistle in air,” Wolfe said.

“Possession of illegal fireworks within the City of Hagerstown, as outlined by the State Fire Prevention Code, can result in a fine up to $250 per piece,” she said.

Legal fireworks can be purchased at the following locations in the city:

  • Martin’s Food, 1650 Wesel Blvd.
  • Martin’s Food, 1729 Dual Highway
  • Weis Markets, 31 N. Eastern Blvd.
  • Big Lots, 1501-J Wesel Blvd.
  • Byers Stop N Go, 152 N. Burhans Blvd.
  • Sam’s Club, 1700 Wesel Blvd.
  • Walmart, 17850 Garland Groh Blvd.
  • Food Lion, 761 E. Wilson Blvd.

There are also tents in the Walmart parking lot at 17850 Garland Groh Blvd. and at Valley Commons Shopping Center at 1580 Wesel Blvd.

Citizens are reminded to make preparations to use fireworks in a safe and responsible manner.

Here are some tips from the fire marshal’s office:

  • Read the label and follow the given instructions.
  • Only adults should light fireworks, and they should only be used outdoors.
  • Never light a firework in your hand or throw it.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, and move away quickly once they’re ignited.
  • Make sure you have buckets of water or a garden hose nearby, and clean up debris when you’re finished.
  • If a firework doesn’t go off, don’t try to relight it.
  • Keep pets indoors because the light and sounds usually frighten them.

For more information about fireworks safety, contact the fire marshal’s office at 301-790-2476.

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