Local fire department: See something, say something this July 4

WASHINGTON — Fireworks are not legal everywhere in the Metro D.C. area, but even where they are allowed it could be considered suspicious for someone to have an unusual interest in them.

“For instance, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing contained disassembled firework components,” said Alan Doubleday, assistant fire chief at the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “Same thing in the 2010 Times Square attempted bombing.”

Because the chemical makeup of fireworks mixed with other chemicals can be explosive and toxic, Doubleday said you should consider alerting authorities if someone has an unusual quantity of fireworks.

“When you get that suspicion … that it just doesn’t belong there, it’s just not right, this person is not acting right, let us know,” Doubleday said.

First responders would much rather investigate something potentially dangerous than suffer the consequences of an unreported hazard, he says. So if you see something, say something.

“Packages that are unattended, large boxes, large backpacks … things that you just shouldn’t see where they’re at. Please, reach out to a law enforcement officer [or] someone in public safety,” Doubleday said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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