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News Release, Office of the State Fire Marshal

STATEWIDE (June 30, 2020) – State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci reminds all Marylanders of the dangers of fire as a result of improperly extinguished smoking materials and fireworks.  “The dry conditions we are experiencing have the potential to cause fires around dwellings, outbuildings, dry vegetation and mulch,” stated Geraci.  “Many of these fires can quickly result in damage to structures and vast areas of vegetation”.  The State Fire Marshal offers the following tips and guidelines when choosing an activity such as smoking or using legal fireworks.

Smoking Materials

  • Smoke outside of the home and ensure to use deep, sturdy ashtrays with a wide stable base.     Consider using water or a non-combustible container filled with sand for extinguishment.
  • Make sure remains of smoking materials are completely out, every time.
  • Ensure smoking materials and ashes are thoroughly cooled before throwing them away.
  • If you have a gathering, inform any smokers of a designated smoking area and check the area frequently to ensure smoking materials have been completely extinguished.
  • Never allow smoking when home medical oxygen is in use.
  • When operating a vehicle do not toss lit cigarettes out of the window. Use an ashtray to fully extinguish the remains before placing in an appropriate receptacle at your destination.

 Fireworks

  • Consider attending one of the public fireworks displays scheduled throughout Maryland this year. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Check the Maryland State Fire Marshal website at: https://mdsp.maryland.gov/firemarshal/ for listed public fireworks displays throughout the state

           For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:

  • Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
  • Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
  • Prior to igniting fireworks, wet down the entire area to help prevent errant sparks from igniting vegetation.
  • Do not allow small children to use fireworks. Sparklers burn at approximately 1,200°F.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose available.
  • Ensure to completely douse remains of fireworks before proper disposal.