WTNH– Enjoying fireworks on the Fourth of July is a fun American tradition. However, it is important to use them safely because they are dangerous and often lead to fires.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year and half are caused by fireworks.
In Connecticut, all fireworks are illegal except for sparklers and fountains.
The Office of State Fire Marshal defines sparklers as “non-explosive, non-aerial devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture.”
They define fountains as “nonexplosive,non-aerial devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic for each individual item.”
The person using them must also be older than 16-years-old.
Novelty items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in the state.
If there is a fire or explosion caused by fireworks and there are injuries and/or damage, or poses the risk of either, the person responsible could be charged with a felony criminal offense.
Yet, if you’re going to use fireworks, then it’s important to stay safe by following these tips from NFPA and safekids.org:
- Leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks.
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
- Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.
- After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active.
- Be careful when using sparklers which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Children’s arms may be too little to hold them far enough away.
- Do not wear loose clothing while lighting fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Never point fireworks toward your home.
- Keep fireworks away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
- Stand several feet away from a lit firework.
- If a firework doesn’t go off, put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby when setting off fireworks.
- If someone is injured by fireworks, immediately seek medical attention.
To find out where you can attend a public display of fireworks, click here.