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Police, Fire Departments Issue Guidelines for Safe and Legal Fireworks

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, public safety officials are advising citizens on guidelines for the safe and legal sale and use of fireworks. It is illegal for any person or business to transport, manufacture, store, sell, purchase or ignite any fireworks that explode, rise into the air or travel laterally, or fire projectiles into the air other than sparks. This law does not pertain to public or private displays conducted by qualified personnel operating under a valid permit issued by the County Fire/Rescue Division Office. Fireworks which are legal for public use include sparklers, fountains, pharaoh's serpents, and pinwheels, although these fireworks must be ignited on private property with the property owner's consent.

Anyone interested in selling legal fireworks must obtain a business license and proper permits from Albemarle County before any items are sold.


• Always read and follow label directions.
• Always have a responsible adult present.
• Buy fireworks from reliable vendors.
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
• Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Never relight a "dud" firework.  Wait 15-20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Never give fireworks to small children.
• Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
• Always wear eyes and ear protection when igniting fireworks.
• Never have any part of the body over the firework.
• Never use illegal fireworks or explosives.

For more information or to apply for a permit call Albemarle County Fire Rescue at (434)296-5833.

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