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VERIFY: No, this MD Independence Day Safety Enforcement poster is not real

The poster claims you can only have two sparklers and that hugs and kissing will result in $1,200 fine.

MARYLAND, USA — QUESTION:

Is this Maryland Independence Day Safety Enforcement notice legit?

ANSWER:

No.

SOURCES:

State of Maryland Governor's Office

Maryland Office of State Fire Marshall

PROCESS:

The poster claims it's from the State of Maryland and warns all citizens can’t have more than two sparklers, they must be held stationary at a 45 degree angle at all times and failure to do so will result in immediate detention.

The poster also claims all citizens will be allowed 30 minutes outside for celebration time.

It also claims that Social Distancing must be practiced as always, for safety purposes. 

Hugging, kissing or touching of any kind will not be permitted

Failure to comply may result in multiple fines of $1,200 per occurrence

Mike Ricci, Communications Director for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, says “It’s a fake.” 

Credit: WUSA9
We can VERIFY this poster is fake.

The Verify team also checked The Maryland State Fire Marshall’s Twitter page and it also warns that this poster is not real.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal says it has been made aware of a fictitious online poster circulating on various social media accounts, referencing Independence Day celebrations and Social Distancing.

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The agency issued a bulletin saying "This poster is simply fake and was produced without the authority of the Governor's Office or the Office of the State Fire Marshal."

They added, "We would not direct citizens on a specific time to be outside and recommend the latest CDC guidelines on how to properly socially distance. Due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, many applicants have elected to not hold most outdoor displays, however, citizens are permitted to use legal fireworks in approved areas. 

The State Fire Marshall says fireworks are prohibited in Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George's, Harford, and Howard Counties as well as Ocean City.   

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The Maryland State Fire Marshal has a list of public fireworks displays throughout the state.

For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:

  • Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. 
  • Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
  • Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
  • Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose available
  • Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.