Some Maine skies will light up over the next few nights with celebratory fireworks. Before you drop money on pyrotechnics, check to make sure they are legal in your city or you could face fines.

Check out the Maine State Fire Marshall's Office site to find out if fireworks are legal in your town and what the rules are if they are allowed.

Here are the general guidelines in Maine cities and towns where fireworks are legal:

  • Consumers can light 'em up from 9a to 10p every day. The 4th of July and New Year's celebrations, and the weekends around them, are exceptions, you can set them off until 12:30a.
  • Fireworks can only be set off on private property or with permission from a property owner.
  • You must be 21 or older to purchase, possess or use consumer fireworks in Maine.
  • Missile-type rockets, aerial spinners, bottle rockets, skyrockets and helicopters are prohibited in Maine.
  • The fines for setting off fireworks in an area without permission run from $50 to $500.

Even using them where they are legal can be dangerous. Here are some important tips from the National Safety Council:

NEVER:

  • wear loose clothing that could catch fire when lighting fireworks
  • light them indoors
  • set off fireworks around dry grass or trees
  • use fireworks if you are impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • allow your kids to handle fireworks
  • never point or throw them at people
  • ignite them while they are in a container
  • try to re-light or handle a firework that didn't go off

ALWAYS:

  • soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours, then put them in two plastic bags to keep them from drying out before discarding them
  • keep a full bucket of water nearby in case of fire and also to soak malfunctioning fireworks
  • supervise young children around fireworks
  • stand several feet away from fireworks and if one doesn't go off, use a shovel to place it in a bucket of water. Don't stand over it investigating and don't pick it up with your hands.
  • have a fire extinguisher near by and know how to use it

Sparklers cause the most injuries, they are blazing hot! Don't give your little ones sparklers, they can catch clothing on fire, many kids drop them on their feet or burn others accidentally.

If your child is injured, go to the hospital immediately. Don't let kids rub an injured eye, they could cause more damage.