While fireworks actually predate American history by a few thousand years, fireworks have been a long standing symbol of American Independence since 1777.
Original celebrations of our independence included the firing of guns and cannons. While that has understandably fallen out of public favor due to safety concerns (imagine blasting a cannon in your backyard during your BBQ!), fireworks still reign supreme this time of year.
But while fireworks are fun, they are also dangerous. So they are heavily regulated in Maryland.
There are professional firework displays to be found throughout every state, but personal use of most fireworks is illegal in Southern Maryland the DC Metro area, and is a criminal offense punishable with large fines and even up to a year in jail. This list describes the fireworks laws in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Any firework that explodes or launches a projectile in the air or moves on the ground is illegal in Maryland. This includes firecrackers, cherry bombs, black cats and M-80s.
The only legal fireworks are sparklers and ground-based sparkling devices that are non-aerial nonexplosive. All other fireworks are prohibited.
Hand-held sparklers and ignitable snakes are allowed.
Only gold-label sparklers, novelty items and ground-based sparklers are legal.
Prince George’s County
All consumer fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited.
All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal. Violators face a possible $500 fine.
Explosive fireworks and fireworks that launch aerial projectiles are illegal in Virginia. Illegal devices include firecrackers, cherry bombs and bottle rockets.
City of Alexandria
All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal. The city warns of fines of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in prison for those who set off illegal fireworks in the city.
Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels — also known as whirligigs — or spinning jennies are permitted.
Same as Arlington County.
City of Falls Church
All fireworks, including sparklers, are banned in the city.
Sparklers and fireworks that don’t project into the air are allowed.
Sparklers and ground-based fountains on private property are permitted
Manassas and Manassas Park
Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpent and pinwheels are permitted.
Prince William County
The county says it has a zero tolerance for illegal fireworks. Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents and pinwheels are allowed.
Sparklers and fireworks that don’t explode in the air or travel on the ground are permitted.
Stafford County and Fredericksburg
Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents and pinwheels are allowed.
Firecrackers of any kind, any firework that explodes — such as cherry bombs, salutes and Roman candles — and sparklers longer than 20 inches. See the full list on the Metro Police Department site here.
Sparklers less than 20 inches, torches, cones, box fires and fountains.
Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about Maryland law. Click here to see our Free Legal Consumer Guides and get answers to your questions today. Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself.
Need an attorney? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need an experienced lawyer in Waldorf and Lexington Park for your legal case.
Like our blog? Subscribe to our email newsletter and stay informed!