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:
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.