With July 4 coming, it is important to discuss how we can and cannot celebrate the holiday.
The Fireworks Regulations page of the Chesterfield County website states: “The sale, possession, and use of fireworks by anyone other than a licensed and permitted fireworks professional is prohibited by the Chesterfield County Fire Prevention Code.”
Section 5602.1 of the Fire Prevention Code defines fireworks in this way: “Fireworks shall mean any firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket, or other substance or object, of whatever form or construction, that contains explosive or inflammable compound or substance, and is intended, or commonly known, as fireworks and which explodes, rises into the air or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air. Fireworks shall not include auto flares, paper caps containing not more than an average of 0.25 grain (16 mg) of explosive content per cap, or toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices utilizing such caps and items commonly known as party poppers, pop rocks and snap-n-pops.”
Every year on specific holidays, firework-related fire incidents and injuries spike. It may not seem like a big deal unless you lose a finger or an eye or suffer significant property loss because of a fire caused by fireworks.
There are approved firework and pyrotechnic displays that are allowed in Chesterfield County and surrounding localities that have ordinances against fireworks. Check community calendars online or in the newspaper to determine a location and time near you. The temptation is great when fireworks are sold near your home or in a neighboring locality, but take my advice. Don’t do it!
I hope that you have a great Independence Day celebration, but do it lawfully and safely.
Just as you are liable for where a bullet goes from your gun, the same holds true for your fireworks discharged. I would argue that a fire caused by fireworks in a place where fireworks are illegal is considered an intentional act and not accidental.
Even if you are in a place where fireworks are legal, you must know how to properly use the fireworks, taking into account the safety of everyone in the vicinity. It only takes a moment for a fun moment to turn into a tragedy. Be careful and intentionally safe!