Officials remind residents of dangers of fireworks as July 4 approaches

Norfolk fireworks on July 5, 2014 as seen from Portsmouth. (WAVY/Ferlon Webster)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As July 4 approaches, fire officials in the Hampton Roads region want to remind people that consumer fireworks are illegal in the region.

It’s no secret that fireworks can be dangerous.

In 2015, about 11,900 people were treated in U.S. hospitals and emergency rooms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Twenty-five percent of those injured were children under age 15. Fireworks were to blame for an average of 18,500 fires per year as well.

Fireworks displays are a tradition to celebrate Independence Day, but they must and should be done only by the pros.

To show just how dangerous fireworks can be, fire officials are hosting a fireworks risk demonstration at the Virginia Beach Fire Training Center at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The Virginia Beach Police Department’s Bomb Squad will be conducting the demonstration, along with support from the Virginia Beach Fire Marshal’s Office.