Community Q&a

June 26, 2005

THE QUESTION

What fireworks, if any, are legal to use in the city of Westminster? Which may be used outside the city?

THE ANSWER

Very few fireworks are legal, according to the state fire marshal's office.

Ground-based sparking devices have been added to the list of fireworks that are legal to use in Maryland. The other legal fireworks are paper caps, snap and pops, snakes and sparklers that do not contain chlorates or perchlorates.

Legal ground-based sparkling devices, which sit on the ground and emit showers of sparks like hand-held sparklers, have a protected fuse on the top. The fuse must be visible, but not accessible. These devices must also bear a label that reads, "Warning [or "Caution"]. Flammable [or "Emits showers of sparks"]. Use only under close adult supervision. For outdoor use only. Place on level surface. Light fuse and get away."

Ground-based sparklers come in various shapes and sizes.

Maryland is one of 45 states plus the District of Columbia that allow some type of consumer fireworks, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. A person must be at least age 16 to buy fireworks in Maryland.

SEND YOUR QUESTIONS of general interest to carroll.letters@baltsun.com.

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