Reporting Illegal Fireworks
To report the use or sale of illegal fireworks, contact the DC Fire/EMS Department's Fire Prevention Division at (202) 727-1600 or (202) 727-1614.
If you are aware of fireworks being set off in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 to have police and fire personnel investigate the situation. Specially-trained teams will respond to ensure that any fireworks being set off are legal and safe. These teams are also inspecting fireworks stands operating in the District of Columbia for compliance with the law.
The Fire/EMS Department seizes illegal fireworks products that are discovered in the District and destroys them after 30 days. Whether you're celebrating Independence Day or the New Year, a backyard barbecue or other family occasion, it is important to understand the laws regulating fireworks use in the District of Columbia.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Always have an adult present.
- Never ignite fireworks indoors.
- Only ignite fireworks outdoors.
- Always have water or sand nearby to extinguish fireworks after use.
- Never experiment or attempt to make fireworks.
- Light fireworks one at a time.
- Never re-light malfunctioning or dud fireworks.
- Store fireworks out of the reach of children.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Never throw fireworks at another person.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Stand at least15 feet from burning cones and fountains.
- Do not light fireworks near combustibles such as gasoline, newspapers, etc.
- Do not ignite fireworks that have been wet and then dried.
- Do not light fireworks at any place other than the fuse.
- Do not use illegal fireworks.
- Only use fireworks products that have a label clearly listing the manufacturer's name, address, and warnings.
For additional information about safe use of fireworks, or any other fireworks related information, contact the DC Fire/EMS Department Fire Prevention Division at (202) 727-1600 or (202) 727-1614.
For your Information and Sharing
Before you purchase an expensive haul of fireworks, make sure that you can legally ignite and use them in the District. In general, any firework that explodes is illegal in the city. Any person found using or in the possession of illegal fireworks in the District of Columbia could face fines and penalties of up to $2,000 and/or arrest for further prosecution.
Characteristics of Illegal Fireworks
An illegal firework as defined in Article 27 of the DC Official Code may have any of the following traits:
Any firework that moves
Any firework that explodes
Any firework that emits a spark or flame greater than 12 feet
Any firework that has a side-mounted fuse or a fuse inserted at any point along the length of the product’s surface
Any firework that contains mercury (Hg), arsenic (Ar), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (Ph), or any other highly- 0xidizing agent
Any firework that the Fire Marshal considers to be dangerous to the safety of any person or property
See the table above for specific examples of illegal fireworks
Reporting Illegal Fireworks
To report the use or sale of illegal fireworks, contact the DC Fire/EMS Department’s Fire Prevention Division at (202) 727-1600 or (202) 727-1614.
If you are aware of fireworks being set off in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 to have police and fire personnel investigate the situation. Please see the attached brochure that will explain firework safety
Roll up your sleeves and beautify your schools! Register to volunteer on Saturday, August 23, 2014.