ALEXANDRIA, VA — While many fireworks shows are canceled in and around Alexandria, many residents will look to celebrate the July 4 holiday at home. Residents are reminded that it is illegal to possess, sell, store or use any kind of fireworks in the City of Alexandria.
Across Virginia, state code prohibits use of fireworks that "explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air," except for use by licensed contractors. Surrounding jurisdictions such as Arlington and Fairfax counties allow the sale and use of other fireworks, including firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, skyrockets and torpedoes. However, Alexandria bans use of any firework entirely, except for permitted shows. Fireworks violations are considered Class 1 misdemeanors and may be punishable by a $2,500 fine, 12 months in jail or both.
The city does not plan to hold an in-person fireworks show and Birthday Celebration on July 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual alternatives to the event will be announced in the coming days.
The National Fire Protection Association encourages residents to find safe alternatives to fireworks. The association estimates fireworks started 19,500 fires nationwide in 2018, causing five deaths, 46 injuries and $105 million in property damage.
The city asks for fireworks violations to be reported to Alexandria Police at 703-746-4444 and emergencies to be directed to 911.