The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) urge residents and businesses to keep their July 4th celebrations safe next week and throughout the year.
“We all look forward to celebrating our nation’s independence with family and friends on the Fourth of July. I encourage everyone to keep their celebration safe and legal by following the advice of our Police and Fire Departments when it comes to fireworks,” said Howard County Executive Ball. “This year, our tradition continues with our annual Fourth of July celebration at the Columbia Lakefront, where families and friends can gather and enjoy a thrilling fireworks show together."
In Howard County, the sale, possession, and residential use of ground-based sparklers is prohibited. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000. While devices known as party poppers, ignitable snakes, snap ’n pops and handheld sparklers are legal, they can be dangerous. Handheld sparkers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause significant injuries.
On average, 5,600 people throughout the United States go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during the one-month period surrounding Independence Day, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Those who do purchase legal fireworks should follow these safety tips from the CPSC:
- After a display, never pick up fireworks that may be left over, as they may still be active and/or hot to the touch.
- Douse used fireworks with a significant amount of water and leave them for several hours.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire.
- Adults should always supervise fireworks activities and never let children handle fireworks.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Please stay safe and leave fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July. Click here more information about the Howard County fireworks event. Police officers will be attending the event to ensure crowd safety.