During the months of June and July, there are spectacular firework shows every weekend throughout upstate New York. This year, there is one change to state legislation that could add more excitement to parties, but a few risk factors as well. Governor Cuomo recently legalized the purchasing of small fireworks by adults at least 18 years old, effective until July 15th. These items include, but are not limited, to sparklers and poppers. Seems innocent enough, but according to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 10,000 firework related injuries in 2011, most of which were caused by sparklers. Now is a better time than ever to be aware of some important fireworks safety tips.
Of course, we can prevent injuries by following these firework safety tips below and the warning labels on all firework packaging.
- First and foremost, obey all local laws regarding fireworks. In New York State, only novelty fireworks are legal in certain counties without a permit. For the list of counties that have opted in, click here.
- Read all labels on the packaging.
- Never give fireworks to children and be sure a responsible adult supervises all firework activities. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Sparklers reach 1,200°
- Make sure there is a bucket of water and charged hose around when using fireworks.
- Use fireworks outdoors, away from buildings, cars and people.
- Homemade fireworks are never a good idea.
- Keep alcohol AWAY from any fireworks, even novelties.
- After using fireworks, dispose of them by wetting them down and putting them in a metal trash can away from buildings or combustible materials over night.
- If you see the illegal use of explosives, report it to your local police.
Follow these guidelines to ensure that you and your loved ones enjoy this firework season injury free. For more information regarding firework safety, visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org/.