• July 02, 2020

    NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services Urges Caution When Handling Sparkling Devices During Fourth of July

    All other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide

    The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and State Office of Fire Prevention and Control today urged New Yorkers to handle sparkling devices responsibly when celebrating the Fourth of July. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates approximately 9,100 people had fireworks-related injuries requiring hospital emergency department attention in 2018, including five fireworks-related deaths. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 36 percent of the estimated injuries.

    “While many facets of our world have changed this year, the dangers presented by fireworks have not,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy. “Not only do fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year, but they are responsible for starting nearly 20,000 fires annually which has made the reports of their recent use all the more troubling. This Fourth of July, I am urging all New Yorkers to avoid illegal fireworks and if you do choose to use legal sparkling devices, please do so safely.”

    New York State Law allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as sparkling devices. Legal ground-based or handheld sparking devices produce a shower of colored sparks or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The devices do not launch into the air. As of today, these devices are legal in all counties except Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, the City of New York, Queens, Richmond, Schenectady, Suffolk and Westchester. All other types of consumer fireworks including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

    To address the issue of individuals using illegal fireworks recently, and help reduce the amount of severe associated injuries, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo earlier this week directed the New York State Police to establish a new temporary Fireworks Enforcement Detail to prevent illegal fireworks being brought to New York from Pennsylvania. The Detail’s establishment is in response to a spike of illegal firework use throughout the state, which has generated widespread complaints and media reports. The detail will be in place until July 3.

    “Every one of us enjoys the excitement that fireworks can bring to our celebrations, but all fireworks can be dangerous,” said State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney. “Even the seemingly safe sparkler can burn as hot as 2000 degrees. If you plan to use legal sparkling devices, please do it safely. Better yet, leave fireworks to the professionals and relax and enjoy the show.”

    Sales of sparkling devices by registered permanent and specialty retailers can only occur from June 1 to July 5 and December 26 to January 2. Sales of sparkling devices by registered temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5 and December 26 to January 2.

    Sellers, manufacturers and distributors of sparkling devices must apply for a certificate of registration from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and follow other rules and conditions. A list of registered sparkling device vendors appears here.

    If sparkling devices are legal to purchase in your county, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control offers the following safety tips:

    • Purchase sparkling devices and novelty devices from New York State registered retailers only
    • Always follow the directions located on the packaging
    • Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparkling devices (It is illegal for anyone under 18 years old to use sparking devices)
    • All sparkling devices are for outdoor use only, never use indoors
    • Always wear eye protection when using sparkling devices
    • Never light more than one sparkling device at a time
    • Never point a sparkling device tube towards anyone or any part of your body
    • Keep sparkling and novelty devices in a safe secure location when not in use
    • Never use sparkling devices when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Always keep an approved fire extinguisher nearby during a display
    • Store sparkling devices in a safe location away from young children
    • Keep unused sparkling devices dry and away from ignition sources
    • Spent and malfunctioning devices should be stored outside away from buildings in a covered metal container filled with water for at least 24 hours before discarding to prevent a fire

    For more information on the sale and use of sparkling devices in New York State, visit the Office of Fire Prevention and Control website.

    About the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control

    The Office of Fire Prevention and Control delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The delivery of these essential services enables the office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State.

    About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

    The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

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