Leave the fireworks and lighters at home this July Fourth

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Bringing sparklers, bottle rockets and other fireworks to the airport can result in delays and monetary fines
National Press Release
Thursday, June 29, 2006

WASHINGTON – In anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds travelers that fireworks – including sparklers and bottle rockets – are prohibited in checked baggage and from passing through security checkpoints.  Other common prohibited items include firearms, knives, pocketknives, lighters and box cutters. TSA security officers continue to intercept over 30,000 lighters a day nationwide, which results in delays for every passenger at the security checkpoint. Bringing prohibited items to the checkpoint can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and possible arrest and imprisonment.

“This summer will be one of busiest travel seasons on record. Passengers can help us keep wait times down at security checkpoints by leaving prohibited items such as lighters and fireworks at home,” said Kip Hawley, Assistant Secretary for TSA. He reminded travelers: “This will help security and speed up the process for everyone.”

This summer, TSA and other aviation partners will welcome more than 200 million air travelers to the nation’s airports during the peak summer travel period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. TSA is prepared to address the needs of the traveling public this summer, which is predicted to be the busiest travel season yet.

To avoid delays and potential fines, TSA suggests that every passenger check their person and bags as well as those of traveling companions (including children) to make sure that they are free of prohibited items.

TSA’s summer travel tips include:

Do not bring fireworks to the airport. All fireworks are explosive materials and are dangerous if brought onboard an aircraft. Fireworks are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage.

Leave prohibited items at home. Remember that lighters, firearms, ammunition and knives are prohibited at the passenger checkpoint. Pocketknives and self-defense sprays and other potential weapons also are prohibited.

Be prepared for screening. To maximize efficiency at the security checkpoint, avoid wearing clothing or shoes with excessive metal and pack all metal items in your carry-on luggage.

When approaching the checkpoint at most airports, an airline employee or contractor will ask passengers for a boarding pass and a government-issued identification. Please have that material out and available throughout screening.

Be flexible. While security is standardized, not all trips through the checkpoint will be identical due to varying security conditions. Remember, security screening is designed to protect you, your family and loved ones.

Security is serious. Belligerence, inappropriate jokes and threats are not tolerated. Jokes and/or comments about threats to passengers or the aircraft will be taken seriously and could result in criminal or civil penalties for the passenger.

Prepare before leaving for the airport. Travel tips for parents, persons with special needs and the general public, lists of prohibited items and much more can be found on the TSA website at www.tsa.gov. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much more enjoyable and convenient the airport experience is if you know what to expect.