Illegal Fireworks – Enforce or Educate? By Melissa Esham 7/6/2015 I have always worked in municipalities that have a ban on all fireworks that are not part of a public display. Ocean City bans ground based sparklers – what is a ground based sparkler? As much as I would love for the local police to have the ability to run out and fine each person in possession or using an illegal firework (maximum fine of $250) the police department is actually pretty busy over the July 4th Holiday and the remainder of the summer. If the main concern of these regulations is to keep life and property safe, let us promote these great tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day. FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage. Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department. For more information check out http://www.fireworkssafety.org/ Safest way to see fireworks is to let the professionals handle the work! The Town of Ocean City provides fireworks displays weekly on Monday & Tuesdays at 10:00 pm that are visible along the boardwalk. Check it out here. How does your community feel about fireworks? Do they enforce or educate?