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Sheriff's Office Warns of Illegal Fireworks

(Harford County, MD – June 14, 2009) – The Sheriff’s Office would like to caution Harford County residents against the use of illegal fireworks. Fireworks pose a danger and risk to people and property. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of all fireworks-related injuries in 2006 occurred between June 16 and July 16. In 2006, eleven people died and an estimated 9,200 were treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in the United States. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.

The Annotated Code of Maryland Criminal Law Article, section 10-110 prohibits the discharge, possession, or sale of fireworks without a permit. A person who possesses or discharges fireworks in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $250.00 for each offense. A person selling fireworks in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 for each offense.

In addition, according to section 193-9 of the Harford County Code, it is unlawful for any person to discharge, possess, sell, cast, or throw ground-based sparkling devices that are non-aerial and non-explosive, whether or not they are labeled in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The code does not prohibit the possession or discharge of ground-based sparkling devices that are non-aerial and non-explosive pursuant to a validly issued permit for the display of ground-based sparkling devices by the State Fire Marshal.

Any person possessing, discharging, throwing or casting a ground-based sparkling device which is non-aerial and non-explosive in violation of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not more than $250. Any person selling a ground-based sparkling device which is non-aerial and non-explosive in violation of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not more than $1000.

Citizens are encouraged to report violations by calling the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency phone number at 410-838-6600. Persons in violation of the above can expect to be criminally charged and their fireworks confiscated.

Consumers are reminded to handle legal fireworks such as sparklers, Black Snakes, Party Poppers, and Snap and Pops in a safe manner. Water should be readily available and children should be appropriately supervised.

Media Release

June 14, 2009

Contacts:

  • Sgt. David Betz
    410-836-5403
  • Monica A. Worrell
    410-836-5463

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