In an article in Sunday's Metro section, laws governing some fireworks in the District were incorrectly reported. The article should have said that "helicopters," "spinning wheels" and sparklers longer than 20 inches are illegal in the District.

In an article in Sunday's Metro section, laws governing some fireworks in the District were incorrectly reported. The article should have said that "helicopters," "spinning wheels" and sparklers longer than 20 inches are illegal in the District.

DISTRICT -- Sparklers, fountainheads, spinning wheels and helicopters are legal, according to D.C. Fire Inspector James Peters, although firecrackers, skyrockets and sparklers that shoot more than 20 inches are prohibited.

Consumers should ask to see a license or certification at stores where they buy fireworks, he said. The penalty for the use of illegal fireworks is a fine of up to $300 and 10 days in jail, he said, while vendors who sell illegal fireworks can lose their business licenses.

* MARYLAND -- All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in Montgomery and Prince George's counties and in Baltimore.

Maryland Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said that in other counties, venders selling fireworks must obtain certification from the state, and fireworks stands are illegal.

Consumers should look for a gold label on boxes containing sparklers. Only those sparklers whose labels specify that the sparkler does not contain chlorates or perchlorates -- chemicals added to sparklers to give them color -- are approved by the state, Thomas said. There is a $250 fine for the possession or use of illegal fireworks, and a $1,000 fine for distribution.

* VIRGINIA -- The law varies from county to county, although Fairfax and Arlington counties have regulations that ban fireworks that shoot sparks more than 12 feet in the air or shoot any projectiles or missiles.

Alexandria bans the use or sale of all types of fireworks. Violators can receive a $1,000 fine or a year in jail, officials said.

Virginia law permits fireworks stands, but vendors must display a certificate on the stand issued by the fire marshal, said Arlington Assistant Fire Marshall Capt. Richard Mozingo.