Hampton Roads localities have a strict policy on which fireworks residents can and can not use during Independence Day.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels, and whirligigs are permitted in Newport News, said police spokesman Brandon Maynard.
Maynard said firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks which explode, travel laterally, rise into the air or fire projectiles into the air are not permitted.
The Newport News Fire Department is asking residents to practice sound safety measures while participating in Fourth of July activities.
Hampton Police spokesman Sgt. M. J. Bond said while certain types of fireworks, such as firecrackers, bottle rockets and roman candles, may be purchased legally in other areas, they may not be possessed or used in the city.
Bringing unapproved fireworks from other jurisdictions in Hampton is an illegal act that constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor. Unapproved fireworks may be confiscated and the offending parties fined up to $1,200 and/or sentenced to up to one year in jail, Bond said.
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires and 300 vehicle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
In 2017, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 36 percent were to the head, according to the association.
Working even with just sparklers can be just as dangerous, said Dr. Jay Collins, director of Burn Services Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
He said the majority of the injuries he sees around the holiday are sparkler related – minor burns to the fingers and hands.
In order to stay safe this holiday, Collins recommends handling sparklers only if you haven’t had alcohol, if you’re 12 years of age or older and if you’re mindful of how low your sparkler is burning.
If you do get burned, he said that you only need to go to the emergency room if the burn is blistering or takes off skin.
A minor redness to the skin, much like a sunburn, does not require medical attention and can be treated by a moisturizing lotion and some Tylenol, Collins said.