With Independence Day right around the corner, it’s important to keep safety a top priority during the upcoming holiday celebrations.
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has issued a reminder to residents that fireworks are illegal to own or use by anyone other than licensed professionals in New York State.
“Attending public fireworks displays is the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July,” said FASNY President David Jacobowitz. “Leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend a locally-sponsored display in your neighborhood. Check the community listings in your local newspaper, radio or television station, or online to find out where fireworks shows are being held in your area.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4th holiday. The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10 to14 as for the general population.
Sparklers can also be dangerous. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires, according to the NFPA.
The FASNY says the following safety tips are important to follow during the holiday:
· The safest and best way to avoid injury is to view fireworks displays by trained professionals.
· Obey and respect any and all public safety barriers set up around the site of a professional fireworks show.
· Resist the temptation to get close to the firing site. Often, the best view of a professional display is from a quarter of a mile or more away.
· Leave your pets at home - the loud noise can scare animals and damage their hearing.
· Do not possess or shoot off fireworks on your own. Besides risking injury to yourself and the crowd watching the demonstration, you will be breaking the law.
· Do not pick up or attempt to re-light used fireworks – they may still be active and cause serious burns or injury.