Howard Fire, Police urge safety during Independence Day

Howard County Fire and Police officials are urging residents to stay safe and abide by the law during Independence Day celebrations.

A news release reminds residents that ground-based sparkler devices are illegal in Howard County, although they are legal in other parts of the state.


Violators are subject to a fine of $1,000, according to the release.

Safety officials say handheld sparklers, party poppers, ignitable "snakes" and "snap 'n' pops" are still legal within the county.

Police urge residents who purchase legal fireworks  to take the following precautions:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Adults should always supervise fireworks activities.
  • Allow a safe distance when lighting the fuse of a fireworks device.
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2012, there were six deaths and an estimated 8,700 emergency room visits for injuries resulting from fireworks-related incidents, the release said.

Burns and lacerations to the hands, face and head were the most frequently reported injuries. About half of the injuries were related to firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.