State Fire Marshal’s Office Reminds Virginians to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals 

Will Merritt
Public Information Officer


RICHMOND (June 28, 2024) - The Virginia Department of Fire Programs – State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Virginians ahead of the Fourth of July holiday to leave fireworks to the professionals.

In 2023, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were eight fatalities and an estimated 9,700 injuries involving fireworks. Of the eight reported fatalities, one was in Virginia.

“Misuse of fireworks can be deadly,” said Billy Hux, State Fire Marshal. “Opt for safety this holiday by enjoying fireworks at a professionally organized show.”

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.

Many localities prohibit the sale, possession or use of all fireworks. 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.

Only “permissible fireworks,” as defined in the Code of Virginia, can be legally sold, possessed, or used within the commonwealth. A list of permissible fireworks can be viewed on the VDFP website.

The sale, possession and/or use of any fireworks not classified as permissible is prohibited. Violations can be prosecuted as a Class I Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 and/or up to one (1) year in jail. Any illegal fireworks can be confiscated, and you can be summoned by a Fire Marshal or Law Enforcement Officer.

If consumer fireworks are legal in your locality and you decide to use permissible fireworks, please follow these important safety procedures:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from the fireworks device.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • Consider safe alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office will continue conducting firework stand inspections and will support numerous permitted fireworks displays to ensure the safety of Virginia residents and visitors.

For firework safety tips and more information about using fireworks in the commonwealth, visit the State Fire Marshal’s Guide to Fireworks in the Commonwealth – Virginia Department of Fire Programs (