At-home fireworks safety tips from Roanoke County Fire and Rescue for Fourth of July events

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– After more than a year of dealing with the pandemic, Fourth of July fireworks shows are set to light up the sky across the Commonwealth over the weekend.

Multiple fireworks shows are expected to bring large crowds, as cities and towns host special fireworks gatherings. However, Virginia residents who do not want to join the crowds will set off fireworks from their homes.

Brian Clingenpeel, community outreach coordinator for Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, shared some tips to keep Virginia families safe.

Clingenpeel says that, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, fireworks that travel in the air, along the ground, or creates a loud sound are illegal.

“Families should purchase sparklers because they emit a stationary shower of sparks,” said Clingenpeel.

Fireworks sparklers burn over a thousand degrees, so they can be dangerous for children and anyone holding them.

The fire department encourages families to keep a bucket of water handy while lighting the sparklers, which makes it easier to douse them if the sparks get too wild.

According to Clingenpeel, in the past 10 years, the fire department has seen several fireworks injuries in the Roanoke Valley.

“We have seen people who have had deforming injuries from some homemade fireworks,” said Clingenpeel.

This includes structure fires starting from objects like homemade bottle rockets, which are illegal. According to the department, anyone caught with illegal fireworks can get charged with a misdemeanor.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue encourages all families to attend fireworks shows in their communities because trained fireworks professionals will be putting on shows centered around safety.

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