CHESAPEAKE, Va. — With the Fourth of July less than two weeks away, the city of Chesapeake is reminding its residents about the consequences of using fireworks.
This year, most official firework displays are canceled because of the risks and financial burdens of coronavirus, and while many Virginians may want to have their own firework show at home, fireworks of any kind are illegal in the state of Virginia.
Virginians cannot possess, use, sell, store or even handle these explosives without facing consequences, according to Chesapeake Assistant Fire Marshal, Steven Bradley.
"The offense for illegal firework use is a class one misdemeanor, which is punishable by either a month in jail and/or a $2,500 fine," he said.
The July 3rd show in Chesapeake (which usually takes place in Chesapeake City Park) is canceled for 2020.
While the laws are different in the state of North Carolina, people are not permitted to buy them across the border and bring them back to the commonwealth.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that in 2018 alone, more than 19,000 fires have been started as a result of illegal fireworks.
That year, it said U.S. emergency rooms saw over 9,000 people with injuries related to fireworks, and children 15 and younger accounted for one-third of those injuries.
For more information on your city's ordinance, head to their website. Call the police if you happen to hear fireworks go off in your neighborhood.