Don’t Blow It! Have a Fun and Safe Fourth of July

Fourth of July fireworks are as American as apple pie and ice cream. But, while apple pie and ice cream don’t pose too much of a threat to safety, fireworks do.

Each year, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year and two out of every five of those fires are fireworks related, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires annually across the nation and that number includes 1,300 structural fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,000 other fires outside, according to the association.

Annually, there are thousands of fireworks-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country, with roughly 67 percent of those injuries occurring between June 20 and July 20, according to the association.

Fireworks, even the ones that are legal to buy in the area, can be dangerous if used improperly, according to a Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue press release.

To help people stay safe during the summer and on the Fourth of July, the county’s Fire Marshal suggests the following safety tips:

  • Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors on a driveway, sidewalk or other fire-resistant surface. Remember, fires are caused by careless handling of fireworks in areas exposed to sparks or live fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks during high winds where flying sparks can start a fire. Keep a bucket of water handy in case sparks start a fire.
  • Be sure children around fireworks know to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches on fire.
  • Deposit sparklers in a metal container as they may be stepped on while hot.
  • Never aim or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction or fail to go off.
  • Do not wear loose clothing when using fireworks.
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket. Pets may be frightened by the noise and lights of fireworks; keep pets inside or away from the area when in use.

Prince William County encourages people to find a comfortable place to spread a blanket, enjoy a picnic, and leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.

Places in the county where fireworks displays are scheduled include:

Old Town Manassas
Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium – Home of the Potomac Nationals
7 County Complex Court
Fireworks after the game

Signal Hill Park
9300 Signal View Drive
Manassas Park
Fireworks begin at Dusk