For the first time in decades, private fireworks are legal in Maine and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering safety tips to consumers, many likely have never used the devices before. Acting State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said, “Although fireworks are now legal, it’s important for consumers to operate them safely to avoid injury and damage to property. Users must be 21 or older, the fireworks must have been purchased within Maine, and can be used only on a person’s own property, or have a property owner’s written permission.”

Thomas also urged consumers to make sure local ordinances are followed as several cities and towns have enacted local laws to prohibit their use.

“This the first time since 1949 that private fireworks have been allowed in Maine and consumers should read carefully the instructions to set them off in a safe manner,” Thomas said.

Safety instructions are included with every sale of fireworks in Maine.Thomas urged close supervision of children around any fireworks detonation and said the pyrotechnics should be stored in a secure location to prohibit access by children. He also said dry summer weather conditions can make fields, grass and woodland susceptible to fires, started by fireworks. The Fire Marshal’s Office website has a copy of the statute that allows their use, safety instructions and a list of communities that prohibit fireworks — www.maine.gov/dps/fmo/fireworks/index.html.

Here are some fireworks safety tips from the State Fire Marshal’s Office:

  • Purchase only Maine permissible consumer fireworks, available at licensed stores, and only the quantity that you will use.
  • Fireworks can only be used on property that you own, or have written permission from the landowner.Have a water hose available in case of a fire.
  • Only those 21 or older can possess or use consumer fireworks.
  • Always wear eye protection and follow all directions provided.
  • Light only one device at a time.
  • Keep spectators at a safe distance and be considerate of neighbors, pets and the environment.
  • Clean up all debris when finished.
  • Devices that do not discharge should be placed in water, after setting alone for 15 min.
  • Always make sure that unused fireworks, matches and lighters are kept out of the reach of children.