The Virginia Department of Fire Programs-State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) and Goochland County Fire-Rescue and Emergency Services urges everyone this Fourth of July holiday weekend to leave fireworks to the professionals.
In general, any firework that explodes, moves on the ground or in the air, or shoots a projectile is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Only “permissible fireworks,” as defined in the Code of Virginia, can be legally sold, possessed or used within the Commonwealth. In Goochland County the only “permissible fireworks” include sparklers, fountains, and Pharaoh’s serpents.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office advises Virginians to check local ordinances as well as the Statewide Fire Prevention Code prior to purchasing and utilizing fireworks. Goochland’s local ordinance related to fireworks is available at https://library.municode.com/VA/goochland_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_CH6PUSASE_ARTIIIFIPRRE_DIV2FI_S6-70FI.
The sale, possession and/or use of any fireworks not classified as permissible is prohibited.
If you decide to use permissible fireworks, please follow these important safety procedures:
- If you have fireworks, make sure they are on the 2022 Virginia Permissible Fireworks List
- Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision
- Fireworks can only be used on private property with the consent of the owner
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors on a driveway, sidewalk, or other fire-resistant surface. Remember fires are caused by careless handling of fireworks in areas exposed to sparks or live fireworks
- Never use fireworks indoors or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Ensure adequate clearance from people, buildings and combustible material
- Never ignite fireworks during high winds where flying sparks can start a fire
- Have a garden hose or other water source readily available in case of fire
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Never hold the fireworks in your hands while lighting them
- Never point, aim, or throw fireworks at another person
- Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction or fail to go off
- Be sure children around fireworks know to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches on fire
- Deposit sparklers in a metal container as they may be stepped on while hot or lost in the grass and stepped on while playing
- The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries or worse is to leave fireworks displays to professionals
If you wish to report illegal fireworks, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (540) 270-6617.