Firefighters Urge Caution Near Fireworks On Independence Day

OCEAN CITY — Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.

Ocean City Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 4269 advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.

“Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” said Ryan Whittington, president of IAFF Local 4269.

Fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2013, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.

Children are especially at risk on July 4. In 2013, 40 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15. Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ground-based sparkling devices such as cylindrical and cone fountains are not legal to use or possess in the Town of Ocean City. Within the Town of Ocean City, products such as handheld Gold labeled sparklers, “Snap-N-Pops”, “Black Cobra Snakes”, and “Party Poppers” are allowed to be used.

“Legal or not, if you decide to ignore these words of caution and set off your own fireworks display, precautions need to be taken, and taken seriously,” Whittington said. “While pretty, fireworks can be very, very dangerous.”

Please only call 9-1-1 for emergency situations.

“If you are reporting a noise complaint, there is another number to call for that,” said Whittington.

Dial 410-723-6600 for all non-life-threatening situations within the Town of Ocean City.

For more information about fireworks safety, visit