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How To Safely Enjoy Fireworks

On a day when we celebrate what makes America great—lite beer, freedom, greasy food, and baseball—we often end the celebrations with fireworks. Our most favorite Chinese appropriated pastime, fireworks, are both beautiful and dangerous, and like moths to flames, we gravitate towards those stands that pop up at the end of every June.

While dangerous, there are also many laws surrounding the buying and selling of fireworks. In fact, possessing selling, or using illegal fireworks is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. However, what constitutes “legal” or “lawful” fireworks?

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Now, before you go off lighting sparklers, there are a few rules to be aware of. First, there is no such thing as “lawful” fireworks on federal property. Sparklers, firecrackers, anything that burns and emits sparks are illegal and punishable by law if set off on federal lands. This includes parks and government facilities. Second, doublecheck that your locality allows fireworks. Individual counties like Chesterfield and Henrico ban the sale, possession, and use of any type of fireworks, including sparklers, within their locality.

When using fireworks, please practice being safe.

  • Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy to douse any fireworks or sparks that could catch and start a fire.
  • Keep an extra bucket of water available to discard all used fireworks.
  • When lighting fireworks, make sure to keep spectators a safe distance away and have a designated adult do all the lighting.
  • Light one at a time and move away quickly once lighting the fuse.
  • Only use fireworks outside, away from any combustible material, preferably on gravel surfaces or driveways. Do not light fireworks while consuming alcohol, and properly dispose of all discarded fireworks.
  • Finally, be wary of pets when setting off fireworks. Veterinarians suggest the loud noises associated with fireworks can make pets nervous, and they can be more prone to violence. Some dogs wrongly think the fireworks are toys. Furthermore, animals feel secure in small, dark places, so if you’re going to be setting off fireworks, consider kenneling your pets beforehand, away from the action.

As in all things, Curcio Law wishes you a safe and happy July 4th. Enjoy all those things that make our country the amazing place it is, but enjoy them all carefully.

 

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Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Justin Curcio
Associate

Justin Curcio received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Justin also spent a semester studying law at the University of Glasgow…

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Kathy McAfee
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As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
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Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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