FORT LEE, Va. -- The Fort Lee Fire Department reminds on-post residents that fireworks, including sparklers, are not permitted in housing or barracks areas. This safety precaution may be enforced in off-post communities as well. Recognizing that fireworks are inextricably linked to the Independence Day celebration, community members are encouraged to enjoy the shows put on by the professionals at events like Fourth at the Fort Thursday evening at Williams Stadium.

            Those who live in off-post areas where fireworks are permitted should keep in mind that Virginia only allows sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, pinwheels and whirligigs. Prohibited are firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and other pyrotechnics that explode, travel laterally or rise into the air, or fire projectiles.

            When using fireworks, follow these safety tips to prevent personal injury or accidental fire:

• Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy.

• Make sure the area is free of brush, high grass or other combustibles.

• Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes.

• Wear protective eyewear.

• Don’t light fireworks indoors or under covered areas.

• Allow residue from fireworks to cool completely before discarding.

• Don’t throw fireworks at people.

• Light only one device at a time.

• Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket.

• Keep “spectators” at a safe distance, especially small children.

• When a device fails to go off, don’t stand above it to see what’s wrong; douse it with water and dispose of it. Don’t try to relight it.

• Don’t assume you know how to use fireworks. Read directions and warning labels. If there are none, don’t use the device.

Fort Lee Fire and Emergency Services actively promotes fire safety to all who work, live and visit the installation. For assistance, call the Fire Prevention Office at 804-734-6597. For fire emergencies, call 911.