Fire Marshal urges extreme caution with home fireworks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Amateur fireworks can cause a lot of conflicts for a lot of reasons. Many enjoy a celebration with pyrotechnics from sparklers to massive aerial explosions. During recent years, the state of West Virginia has loosened its restrictions on the types of fireworks which are legal.¬† However, there are many who detest the noise and danger created by homemade fireworks displays.

“All of the fireworks you can buy at an authorized or regulated store or seller you can use in West Virginia under West Virginia law. But that doesn’t mean individual cities and towns cannot set their own ordinances regulating the use of fireworks,” said Tim Rock, Public Information Officer for the State Fire Marshal’s office

The Fire Marshal would prefer folks attend a public fireworks display, which is the safest option.

However, Rock said anyone choosing to do their own needs to be extremely aware of their surroundings and pay particular attention to warnings on the use of each firework. He said even those which seem harmless can cause grave injury if mishandled.

“Sparklers are just as potentially dangerous as any other with their heat. You can safely use fireworks, but you have to know what they are,” he said.

Rock added be aware where the ashes are falling and the sparks created.

“West Virginia is mostly rural and these kinds of fireworks can easily spark a fire,” he said.

If your fireworks spark a fire, you will very likely be on the hook for any damage caused and responsibly for reimbursing the expenses of your local fire department to extinguish the blaze. .

The agency also advised those using their own fireworks  mindful of neighbors who may be veterans and suffer from PTSD or have pets who are terrified of the sound of the constant barrage of explosions.

“You can have as fun a time as with anything else, but you have to take it seriously and be responsible,” Rock said.

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