June 28, 2021

DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES URGES CAUTION WHEN HANDLING SPARKLING DEVICES DURING THIS FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY

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

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 next week.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates approximately 10,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks in 2019.  Almost three-quarter of injuries occurred during a one-month period around the Fourth of July.

“When joining with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our great nation this year, I urge all New Yorkers to handle sparkling devices carefully since mishandling these devices can cause significant burn injuries,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy. “Remember it is illegal for anyone under 18-years old to use sparkling devices.”

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 sparkling 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.

Sparkling devices are legal in all New York State counties except Albany, Columbia, Schenectady, and Westchester, some cities in Orange County (see local laws), all five boroughs of New York City, and Long Island.  All other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

“As with any device which purposely emits live sparks and fire, it should be easy to understand the need for extra caution when handling sparkling devices,” said Acting State Fire Administrator James Cable.  “Be sure to obtain all such devices legally and follow all safety instructions which come with the packaging to ensure loved ones and neighbors stay injury-free throughout the holiday.  Have fun, but please be mindful of your own and others’ safety when using sparkling devices.”

Sales of sparkling devices by certified permanent and specialty retailers can only occur from June 1 to July 5 and December 26 to January 1. Sales of sparkling devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5 and December 26 to January 1.  Sellers, manufacturers, and distributors of sparkling devices must apply for a license 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 and novelty devices from New York State registered retailers only.
  • Always follow 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 sparkling devices.
  • Never use sparkling devices indoors.  All sparkling devices are for outdoor use only.
  • 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.
  • Douse malfunctioning and spent devices with water before discarding to prevent a fire.
  • Store sparkling devices in a safe location away from young children.
  • Keep unused sparkling devices dry and away from ignition sources.

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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