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Fireworks Safety and Legality

Large fireworks display
Miia Sample

Another July 4th brings more warnings about fireworks safety – and legality. New York officials estimate, each year, fireworks send more than 150 people to the emergency room, most of them in July. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says main causes of injury include a fast fuse that sets off a device before it can be thrown down, being hit by a misguided rocket, or a curious child inspecting a device that seemingly failed to explode. In New York, all aerial devices and any sparkling devices larger than hand-held are illegal.

According to a release from Governor Kathy Hochul's office, "While avoiding the use of illegal fireworks is the best way to prevent injury, people can also take precautions while watching professional fireworks displays."

Tips for Using Fireworks Safely:

  1. Children and sparklers are a dangerous combination. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
  2. Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  3. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  4. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  5. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  6. Always use fireworks outdoors. Never light sparklers or fireworks inside.
  7. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  8. If you are impaired by alcohol, don’t use fireworks.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.