Firework safety tips from Richmond Fire Department
What you need to know before the Fourth of July weekend
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For many, the upcoming Fourth of July weekend means backyard barbecues, pool parties and time with family.
However, for members of the Richmond Fire Department, the popular tradition of setting off fireworks poses safety risks that they hope to prevent.
Richmond Deputy Fire Marshal William Spindle said they receive numerous calls every year around the Fourth of July regarding firework-related injuries. He said that “Fireworks themselves cause about 2,000 fires every year across the country.” This weekend will be all hands on deck for Richmond Fire as they prepare for these risks.
It’s important to know that fireworks are illegal in the city of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole. The sale, possession, or use of non-permissible fireworks is a Class I misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or up to a year in jail.
Leading up to the Fourth of July, the State Fire Marshal will be patrolling retail locations to confiscate any illegal fireworks and ensure that they are off the shelves.
“Don’t buy them, don’t use them, don’t play with them,” says Spindle. It’s not worth the risk of injury or starting a fire.
Virginians are encouraged to attend the professional firework displays in Richmond instead of trying to do it at home.
“There’s a lot of tips that we can utilize and give you to operate and use fireworks safely, but the best is just prevention all around. Do not buy them,” Spindle said.
Richmond Fire says it is always best to call 911 if you suspect the use of illegal fireworks nearby. They want Virginians to enjoy their Fourth of July traditions and to do so safely.
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