Mayor Urges Firework Safety 

Situational Update Report: July 1

Guidelines on setting off legal fireworks. Screenshot: Facebook Live/Mayor Bowser

As the Fourth of July approaches, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) urged residents to follow firework laws and safety guidelines. 

“Fireworks are indeed dangerous,” Bowser said during her Wednesday, July 1 situational update. “This is true for illegal fireworks, but also for legal fireworks if they’re not used correctly.”

Four incidents this year related to the use of fireworks have already occurred, including an 11-year-old child suffering second degree burns, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services  (DCFEMS) Department Chief Gregory Dean said. 

Illegal fireworks include those that move or shoot a projectile, fireworks that explode (including firecrackers, cherry bombs, salutes and roman candles) and fireworks that emit sparks or flames greater than 12 feet. Legal fireworks include sparklers less than 20 inches in length, torches, box fire, fountains, cones, dip sticks, paper novelty items, colored lights and paper caps. Learn more about legal and illegal fireworks, as well as guidelines for lighting legal ones, here, or call 202-727-1614. 

Dean added that sparklers can reach the same temperatures as blowtorches and should be kept away from children.  

“Homes are in danger of catching fire, which puts both lives and property at risk,” he said. “The explosions cause great stress to people and their pets.”

As the holiday approaches, Go Teams will visit areas concerned with firework use and educate residents about firework safety. On Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 Go Teams will be joined by safety teams stationed in every ward. If you want a Go Team to visit your neighborhood or have firework-related concerns, email [email protected] or call 202-727-1614.

NBC4 Washington reported that the Department of Interior released details of its Fourth of July celebration, which includes a flyover and fireworks display with a “blast-off zone” encompassing the Inlet Bridge south of West Potomac Park to north of the Lincoln Memorial and on the grounds of the Washington Monument. 

Bowser encouraged residents to celebrate the holiday from home or close to home. 

“Ask yourself: Do you need to be there?” she said of the federal celebration. “Can you anticipate or know who else is going to be around you? Do you know if you’re going to be able to social distance?” 

Update: COVID-19 Numbers, Schools, Teleworking 

The District’s reported data for Tuesday, June 30 includes 38 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths.

Referencing dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases across the country and in certain states, Bowser said residents should continue to follow safety guidelines to prevent such a surge. More information on COVID-19 data is available here

As teleworking enforcement relaxes, Bowser said DC Government employees will likely see remote elements incorporated into the return to in-person work. 

On the reopening of schools, Bowser said she will “very soon” propose a schedule for DC Public Schools intended for parents, as well as make “strong recommendations” to public charter schools. She added that she anticipates a summer bridge program beginning in August. DCPS schools will start August 31. 

More information about the school calendar is available here

Eva Herscowitz is a journalism student at Northwestern University currently interning with the Hill Rag. She writes for Northwestern’s student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern. You can reach her at [email protected]