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Delaware Headlines

State Fire Marshal's office emphasizes fireworks safety over July 4th holiday

James Dawson
Delaware Public Media

July 4th brings fireworks - some set off legally and others illegally. And Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office is reminding residents to put safety first.


A 2018 law allowed Delawareans to buy fireworks at stores and pop up tents, but only certain ground-based kinds are available.


And their use is limited to certain days: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, July 4th, and the third day of the Diwali holiday.


"They are permitted to be used on those days only, and they are permitted to be purchased by someone who's 18 years or older up to 30 days prior to each of those days," said Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio. "Most fireworks in the state of Delaware are illegal and have been illegal for decades, firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, m-80's, all types of aerial devices. If you light it and it shoots up in the air it's illegal."

Since the law went into effect the State Fire Marshal’s Office says there have been 44 fires and 15 injuries blamed on fireworks with most occurring around the July 4th holiday.

That’s why Chionchio says there is one way to stay safe.

"Leave the fireworks in the hands of professionals," said Chionchio. "What that means is do not use consumer fireworks. They can be a risk to your health, they can injure you, they can set things on fire. We recommend that they take the time and go out and enjoy the family-based public firework displays."

The fireworks bought in the legal time period become illegal to possess on July 5th, and if you have any complaints about illegal fireworks in your neighborhood, you can call local police. 

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