The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and the Department of Health today, reminded New Yorkers that if sparkling devices are legal to purchase and use in your county, be sure to follow a few common sense safety tips to have a safe and memorable July 4th celebration and to note where and when this class of fireworks are able to be sold and used throughout the state. Certain sparkling and novelty devices are the only consumer fireworks that are legal in certain parts of New York State and sales in these counties are prohibited to anyone under 18 years of age.

“Summer is meant for fun, family and festivities,” said DHSES Commissioner John Melville. “It is important to understand the risks involved with all types of fireworks, and to take all safety precautions when using legal sparkling devices in New York State. The easiest way to stay safe this July 4th is to leave the fireworks displays to the experts.”

Fireworks can cause devastating burns and injuries and even death. Sparklers burn at approximately 2,000 degrees. In 2013, there were 8 deaths and 11,400 reported injuries in the United States related to fireworks. Sparklers accounted for 31% of these injuries. Many of these injuries were to people under the age of 18. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

According to the New York State Department of Health, there were 63 hospitalizations and 230 emergency room visits in New York between 2011 and 2013, for injuries related to fireworks. With some jurisdictions just now allowing sparkling devices, many people may be using these items for the first time.

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