With 4th of July approaching, the Prince George’s Fire Department (PGFD) is reminding its citizens that ALL consumer fireworks from the smallest to the largest are illegal. It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George’s County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department responds to several calls for injuries related to fireworks each year. The Fire/EMS Department is concerned about the potential for injury and property damage from fireworks. Every year, near the Fourth of July we  see and hear of thousands of people injured and sometimes killed due to accidents involving fireworks in the United States.  Sadly, many of these injuries and deaths involve children. Brain Injuries can be catastrophic, affecting the victim on physical, psychological, and social levels. It could take months or even years to recover and medical expenses can become debilitating, negatively impacting the victim’s quality of life. If you need a brain injury lawyer they are here to help you with a free consultation!

Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as “consumer fireworks.” Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.

In Prince George’s County, citizens may turn in fireworks without fear of being arrested or fined. Those desiring to take advantage of this amnesty may contact the County’s Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Operations Center at 301-583-2200. A member of the Fire/EMS Department will come to your home or business and remove your fireworks, without you risking arrest and/or fine.

The amnesty will remain in effect until July 14, 2010. Citizens may also call the same number to report illegal use of fireworks in Prince George’s County.

This is the eighth year that the Fire/EMS Department has offered an Amnesty Program. Thousands of pieces of dangerous fireworks have been turned over to authorities during this period. Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the numerous public fireworks displays offered throughout the County on this festive and patriotic day.  Celebrate safely and within the law.”

For  ore information, please contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930  www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/FireEMS/ (Homepage) www.pgfireems.com (Newsroom)