Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (PGFD) announced its 2011 Fireworks Amnesty Program on Monday, which they said will remain in effect through July 20, 2011.
The PGFD stated “Plain and simple – ALL consumer fireworks from the smallest to the largest are illegal,” according to Prince George’s County law. It is illegal for any person to to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Md., the PGFD stated, adding the exception is that a licensed professional pyrotechnic may conduct an authorized display.
Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail, according to the PGFD.
Until July 20, 2011, the PGFD stated, citizens in Prince George’s County who turn in fireworks will not risk arrest and/or fines.
A member of the Fire/EMS Department will come to homes or businesses and remove fireworks, the PGFD said. Interested citizens can call the County’s Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department Operations Center at 301-583-2200. Citizens may also use this number to number to report the illegal use of fireworks in Prince George’s County.
PGFD stated they respond to several calls for fireworks-related injuries each year and that every year near the Fourth of July, they see and hear of thousands of injuries and deaths in the U.S. due to accidents involving fireworks. It saddens them that many involve children.
This is the ninth year of the Fire/EMS Department’s Amnesty Program. As a result, “Thousand of pieces of dangerous fireworks have been turned over to authorities during this period,” PGFD reported.