Let's talk about fireworks safety. Homes, wooded and grassy areas, and even automobiles have been destroyed by fire because of fireworks. The Chesapeake Fire Department has responded to many fireworks-related grass fires, in addition to structure fires that were also caused by fireworks. Most commonly the fires are caused by bottle rocket-type fireworks, where the rockets can land in dry vegetation or on rooftops and still retain enough heat to cause a fire.
In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of serious injuries that require emergency treatment in a hospital ER. Fireworks can cause severe burns, fractures or scars, and can even result in death or life-long disfigurement. The thousands of serious injuries that occur each year typically involve damage to the eyes, head or hands, with the risk of fireworks-related injuries highest for children 5 to 14. Even though novelty fireworks, such as fountains and sparklers, are assumed to be "safe", they can reach temperatures of more than 1,000° Fahrenheit, and account for 36% of all emergency room fireworks-related injuries. These types of fireworks are also illegal in the City of Chesapeake.
There are safer alternatives to using fireworks on the Fourth of July. Public fireworks displays can be the safest and smartest and are often the most economical, fireworks alternative. The City of Chesapeake hosts "Celebrate Freedom" a free public firework display for the Fourth of July. (Note: $5 on-site parking fee.)
Due to the dangers and risks associated with fireworks, nearly all types of fireworks are illegal in the City of Chesapeake. For more information about fireworks facts, safety tips, and fireworks laws, please contact the Community Risk Reduction Division at 757-382-6566.