Where you can and can’t use fireworks in the DC area

Ahead of the Fourth of July celebration, fire officials are issuing a reminder that all fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in certain areas.

Sparklers are illegal in Maryland in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. They’re illegal in Virginia in Falls Church and Alexandria.

“It’s oftentimes surprising to folks to realize that a sparkler can burn at 1,600 to 1,800 degrees at the tip,” said Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein.

In the District, only sparklers longer than 20 inches are prohibited.

Major exploding fireworks, such as fire crackers or skyrockets, are not allowed anywhere in the D.C. area.

“The best way to enjoy fireworks is to go to a public display,” said Goldstein.

Find a breakdown of the local laws below:

D.C.

Prohibited: Firecrackers of any kind, any firework that explodes — such as cherry bombs, salutes and Roman candles — and sparklers longer than 20 inches.

Permitted: Sparklers shorter than 20 inches, torches, cones, box fires and fountains.

Maryland

Any firework that explodes or launches a projectile in the air or moves on the ground is illegal in Maryland, including firecrackers, cherry bombs, black cats and M-80s.

Anne Arundel County: Snappers, sparklers and ground-based sparkling devices that are non-aerial and nonexplosive are permitted.

Calvert County: Sparklers and ground-based sparkling devices that are non-aerial nonexplosive are permitted.

Charles County: Hand-held sparklers and ignitable snakes are permitted.

Frederick County: Gold-label sparklers, novelty items and ground-based sparklers are permitted.

Howard County: Handheld sparklers, snakes, snaps and pops and party poppers are permitted.

Montgomery County: All fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited. Violators face a possible $500 fine.

Prince George’s County: All consumer fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited.

Virginia

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.

Arlington County: Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels — also known as whirligigs — or spinning jennies are permitted.

Fairfax County: Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels — also known as whirligigs — or spinning jennies are permitted.

City of Falls Church: All fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited.

Fauquier County: Sparklers and fireworks that don’t project into the air are permitted.

Loudoun County: Sparklers and ground-based fountains on private property are permitted.

Manassas: Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpent and pinwheels are permitted.

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, however, permitted.

Spotsylvania County: Sparklers and fireworks that don’t explode in the air or travel on the ground are permitted.

Stafford County: Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents and pinwheels are permitted.

Fredericksburg: Sparklers, fountains, Pharaoh’s serpents and pinwheels are permitted.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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