Fireworks Are Illegal in James City County
The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling or use of fireworks in James City County is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or $2,500 fine.
- Fireworks can be turned in without penalty at any County fire station or by calling Fire Administration to make arrangements with Fire Marshal staff.
- Citizens are encouraged to call 911 to report the use of fireworks by others.
- Citizens who see fireworks for sale at local retailers are encouraged to call Fire Administration so that Fire Marshal staff can investigate. Some products are packaged to look like fireworks but do not meet the definition.
The goal of the James City County Fire Department and Fire Marshal’s office is to keep the citizens and visitors, as well as their neighbors and loved ones, safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 fires in the U.S. each year
- In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries
- Sparklers account for more than 25% of emergency room fireworks injuries
- Children aged 5-9 are more than twice as likely as other aged groups to be injured by fireworks
The Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code defines fireworks as:
Any item known as a firecracker, torpedo, skyrocket or other substance or thing, of whatever form or construction, that contains any explosive or flammable compound or substance and is intended or commonly known as fireworks and which explodes, rises into the air, or travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air. The term 'fireworks' shall also include pinwheels, sparklers, fountains or Pharaoh's serpents. The term 'fireworks' shall not include auto flares or caps for pistols.