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Identifying Illegal Fireworks

by Prince Of Petworth June 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm 54 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user m01229

MPD’s Fifth District issued a detailed email about fireworks in DC:

Public Safety Approach

The Metropolitan Police Department and DC Fire/EMS will again team together to ensure that inspection, regulation and safety measure are in place concerning the possession, storage and sales of Fireworks within the District of Columbia.

Captain Mark Beach will be the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fifth Police District will be this years coordinator for education, inspection and enforcement. Captain Beach can be reached on 202-698-0118, 202-345-1313 or via e-mail at [email protected]

Members of the Fifth Police District have begun conducting periodic surveillance and inspection of fireworks vending stands located in our community. We will ensure vendors possess proper permits, have No Smoking signs displayed, sell only fireworks manufactured by TNT, and have an employee roster on site.

MPD will also be enforcing existing laws concerning possession and detonation of illegal fireworks by citizens within our neighborhoods. Detonations of illegal fireworks endanger those lighting the device and those in close proximity of the Firework. Once lit and discharged, illegal Fireworks endanger nearby homes and structures, our pets and pose a real risk for our children. Please review and share with others what type of Firework can be possessed and those listed below that are deemed to illegal.

Illegal Fireworks in the District of Columbia and Penalties

In general, any firework or firecracker that explodes is illegal in the District of Columbia. Any person found using or in the possession of illegal fireworks in the District of Columbia could face fines and penalties of up to $2,000 and/or arrest for further prosecution. The Metropolitan Police Department and Fire/EMS seize illegal fireworks products that are discovered within the District and destroy them after 30 days.

Illegal Fireworks Characteristics

• Any fireworks that move.
• Any fireworks that explode.
• Any fireworks that emit a spark or flame greater than 12 feet.
• Any fireworks that have a side mounted fuse or a fuse inserted at any point along the length of the product’s surface.
• Any fireworks that contain mercury, arsenic, magnesium, phosphorus, or any other highly oxidizing agent.
• Any fireworks that the Fire Marshal considers to be dangerous to the safety of any person or property.

Examples of Illegal Fireworks (after the jump.)

• Firecrackers
• Cherry Bombs
• Roman
• Salutes
• Floral Shells
• Artillery Shells
• Helicopters
• Sparklers greater than 20 inches long
• Bottle Rockets
• Parachutes
• Buzz Bombs
• Pinwheels
• Jumping Jacks
• Anything that is similar to these products.

To report the possession, use or sale of illegal fireworks, or any other fireworks related information, contact the DC Fire/EMS Department Fire Prevention Division at (202) 727-1614.


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