New York State offers firework safety tips for the upcoming July 4th holiday

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As part of a multi-agency safety effort, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection, along with the Division of Homeland Security, Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the New York State Department of Health are providing tips to help people stay safe while celebrating Independence Day.

“As we celebrate this 4th of July with family and friends, it’s important that everyone take proper precautions to keep each other safe,” Governor Hochul said.

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According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year, thousands of people – most of them children, teens, and young adults – are injured while using fireworks.

Most of these injuries happen in the weeks surrounding the 4th of July.

They also say recently firework-related injuries have been seeing an upward trend with incidents increasing by 25 percent within six years.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also found that, nationally, nearly half of relative injuries were to people younger than 24.

The most common causes of injuries include:

  • A fast-fuse firecracker explodes before it can be thrown.
  • A misguided rocket strikes a bystander.
  • A curious youngster goes to investigate why a firecracker “failed” to explode.

More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The Department recommends taking precautions while watching professional fireworks displays, including using earplugs to protect hearing, keeping a safe distance from the firework launch site and leaving pets at home.

“As we celebrate this annual 4th of July holiday with friends and family, it’s important to remember basic safety tips, especially when sparkling devices are involved,” Secretary of State Walter T. Mosley said. “If sparkling devices are legal in your area, make sure to always follow the instructions on the packaging and never allow children to play with or ignite the devices.” 

Tips for using fireworks safely:

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

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