ROCKVILLE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - The July 4th holiday may be days away but the night skies in the D.C. region have been lighting up for weeks.
Fireworks are being set off in neighborhoods around the DMV and across the country.
In many places like Montgomery County, most fireworks are illegal. The same goes for Prince George’s and Baltimore counties.
According to Nextdoor, many people in the Derwood area of Montgomery County have been reporting for weeks about hearing the sound of fireworks happening every night while some think it’s the sound of gunshots, only to be corrected by others who say that in fact, it is fireworks.
And about two weeks ago, one of FOX 5’s photojournalists shot video of fireworks going off in southeast D.C. near I-695 which just like in Montgomery County is illegal unless approved by the city.
Incidents like these have Montgomery County fire and rescue chief, Scott Goldstein worried because he said that people are firing off illegal fireworks now more than ever and in record numbers.
“As seen on social media we are seeing an uptick in the reporting and the main response for any noise and use of fireworks complaint is handled by county police and patrol,” said Goldstein. “They go out as if a party is having loud music or as if someone is having a large barbecue.”
The department also tweeted out an x-ray image Monday, to show what can happen to a person’s hand or even to the fingers if they try to light a firework.
Fireworks that are illegal in the county include Roman candles, pop rockets, and even sparklers.
“The tip of that sparkler is 2,000 degrees,” said Goldstein.
Meanwhile, Phantom Fireworks, the Ohoon-based company which operates in some parts of Maryland, is reporting record sales.
It’s something that company Vice President Willam Weimer said he’s surprised by.
“Since we opened mid-May, the demand has been unbelievably strong,” he said, “we’ve had the highest early demand for fireworks that we’ve ever had in our company’s history.”
In Montgomery County, anyone with an illegal firework can face a penalty of $1000 per firework in addition to possible jail time of six months.