ROANOKE, Va. – Compared to this time last year, Roanoke Fire-EMS officials say firework injury-related calls are down.
You may remember, fireworks were a nuisance in many communities, according to residents. While that doesn’t appear to be a major or widespread issue right now, officials still want to remind you about firework dangers.
Fireworks are mostly illegal in Virginia. While some variations of fireworks are legal, Virginia’s Fire Prevention Code establishes specific limitations on them as well.
Anyone caught buying, using or in possession of illegal fireworks in Virginia can face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Localities can set their own limits on fireworks, with some banning them entirely and others enforcing strict restrictions.
Even with some of the legal options, Kristen Perdue with Roanoke Fire-EMS said you’re at risk for injury. Every year, 19,000 fires are caused by fireworks and 9,000 people go to the ER with injuries.
“We have had injuries. Just last year, we had hands injured and people having to go to the emergency room due to firework injuries. A lot of times, it can happen to your legs or face,” said Perdue.
If you’re somewhere it’s legal, remember to keep kids and pets away, make sure the surface is flat and you have fire prevention tools nearby.