The holidays are great for spending time with friends and family and participating in different festivities. One of those activities that might be on your to-do list could be to celebrate with a firework show. Safe Kids just wants to put out a friendly reminder about the hazards of at-home firework shows. They can cause serious injury to children and adults. A sparkler, popular to most at-home firework displays, can heat up to about 1,200 degrees, which can cause serious burns especially if in the hands of children. Just before you decide to have your own backyard firework display, make sure to do it safely and legally.

Here are some tips on how to stay safe:

    • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
    • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
    • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances
    • stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
    • always have a bucket of water and/ or a fire distinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
    • If a person is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow the person to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Below are some kinds of fireworks that are legal in Baltimore County.

    • Toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns and other devices that use paper caps if the devices are constructed so that a hand cannot touch the cap when the cap is in place for use;
    • Hand-held sparklers that do not contain chlorates or perchlorates ("gold label" only);
    • Ground based sparkling devices that are non-aerial and non-explosive. Legal ground-based sparklers are stationary, sit on the ground and emit a shower of sparks several feet into the air. Some may whistle, but they do not pop or crack. They do not explode, shoot projectiles or move along the ground.
    • Paper-wrapped snappers that contain less than .03 grains of explosive composition;
    • Ash-producing pellets known as "snakes"

Just Remember: All fireworks, even sparklers are against the law in Baltimore City, unless a permit and approval is given from the office of the Fire Marshall. Depending on the area, it is important to know the firework laws before having a display of your own. Violators of these laws are subject to a misdemeanor fine of up to $250.

Your family can also enjoy public firework displays or use glow sticks as a safe and fun alternative to at-home sparklers. It is important to have an enjoyable holiday with your friends and family; just consider the consequences and alternatives to hosting your own firework display.