Summer Safety Message from Massanutten Police Chief

Now that summer is in full swing and the Fourth of July is quickly approaching, the Police Department would like to wish all a safe, healthy, and fun filled summer. We would like to point out a few friendly but serious safety reminders.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were approximately 10,000 injuries and approximately 12 deaths associated with fireworks in 2019. More information may be obtained at

Make sure fireworks are consumer legal before buying or using them.

Buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and they could pose a danger to consumers.

Children should not be allowed to play with or ignite fireworks.

A designated non-drinking adult should supervise firework activities. People may not realize that young children suffer injuries from just simple sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

One should never place any part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

Use fireworks only outdoors in areas such as parking lots, driveways, and gravel/dirt areas away from anything that may burn. One should not try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have a burned fuse and not ignited fully.

Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

It is suggested to keep a bucket of water or a charged garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.

Fireworks should be lit one at a time and then move away quickly.

Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

Spent fireworks should be doused with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent an unintended fire.

Virginia law prohibits regular consumers from possessing, using, selling, storing, and or handling fireworks that explode, rises into the air, travels laterally, or fires projectiles into the air. It is a class one misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.00 fine. Any officer placing such a charge must also seize any such prohibited fireworks. Police will respond to any fireworks-related complaint. The Rockingham County Fire Marshal’s Office routinely patrols specifically for fireworks violations during the Fourth of July holiday.


Permissible general consumer fireworks that may be used on private property with the consent of the property owner are sparklers, fountains, pharaoh’s serpents, and like type pinwheels.


While we are celebrating outdoors, let us please be mindful of others and remember that MPOA has rules and regulations concerning noise and prohibits open fires. The rules and regulations can be found on the website at Please enjoy your summer safely and responsibly. If you consume alcohol, please have a designated driver if you must travel.




Eric S. Painter

Chief of Police

Post expires at 10:50am on Wednesday September 30th, 2020