July 2, 2024

Virginia Beach Fire Marshal Reminds Citizens Fireworks are Illegal in Virginia Beach

Residents are encouraged to report illegal fireworks within their neighborhoods via the VB311 online portal, VB311.virginiabeach.gov, or by calling the City’s non-emergency line, 757-385-5000

July Fourth means family picnics, outdoor fun, and night skies full of fireworks, but most residents and visitors are unaware of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, the Code of Virginia, and the Virginia Beach City Code Section 12-43.2, that strictly prohibits fireworks and pyrotechnics within the city limits unless properly permitted. This also includes sparklers and pinwheels, which burn as much as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Illegal fireworks are a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one-year in jail and or a $2,500.00 fine. 

Fireworks Fire & Injury Facts

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report for 2023, CPSC received reports of eight deaths and an estimated 9,700 injuries involving fireworks. Out of the eight deaths, five were associated with firework misuse, two with a device malfunction, and one involved unknown circumstances. 

The report shows that between 2008 and 2023, injuries from fireworks have increased overall, despite recent data showing a steady decline since the peak in 2020 during the pandemic when public displays were canceled.

To understand more about fireworks-related injuries hazards around the 4th of July, CPSC conducted an analysis of the injury data in the four weeks surrounding the holiday in 2023 and found the following:

  • Teenagers ages 15 to 19 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries, with children ages 5-9 years old having the second highest rate.
  • There were an estimated 800 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 700 with sparklers. 
  • The parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 35 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 22 percent).
  • About 42 percent of the emergency department-treated fireworks-related injuries were for burns.
  • In fiscal year 2023, approximately 18% of selected and tested fireworks products were found to contain noncompliant components, including fuse violations, the presence of prohibited chemicals and pyrotechnic materials overload.

Not only do fireworks cause physical damage, but they also cause mental anxiety and stress to victims of PTSD such as our service men and women, children, those affected by gun violence and even pets. Please consider others over yourself.

Leave it to the pros! Citizens are encouraged to attend one of the two public FREE fireworks shows:

July 4th Celebration  - Thursday, July 4, 4 to 10 p.m. - Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Mount Trashmore Park - 310 Edwin Drive
Admission is FREE; limited onsite parking is $20 (Cash Only) beginning at noon
Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Stars & Stripes Celebration - Thursday, July 4, 7 to 11 p.m. - Oceanfront
Scheduled live entertainment at 17th, 24th and 31st street parks offer something for everyone. All performances are FREE. Fireworks launch at 9:30 p.m. at 24th Street and the Boardwalk.

Residents are encouraged to report illegal fireworks within their neighborhoods via the VB311 online portal, VB311.virginiabeach.gov, or by calling the City’s non-emergency line, 757-385-5000. Please do not call 911 to report fireworks unless there is an active or imminent threat to life and/or property. To report emergencies, including the presence of fire or flames, continue to call 911.

Contact Information

VBFD Public Information Officer

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