Fireworks tips help families stay safe on Independence Day

MONROE, CT — Fireworks may have sparked a large brushfire that injured three firefighters and stopped Metro-North trains in late June. As Independence Day approaches this weekend, Monroe Fire Marshall William B. Davin and First Selectman Ken Kellogg are sharing information to keep families safe.

In a recent press release, Davin reminds residents that fireworks are illegal in Connecticut, with few exceptions. The only legal fireworks are sparklers, a wire stick coated with material that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition, and fountains, which produce a shower of sparks and smoke, he said.

Illegal fireworks include any that are capable of producing “a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes, in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel them, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, and any fireworks containing any explosive substance.”

Kellogg shared statistics on injuries related to fireworks, as well as safety tips on Facebook.

In 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission performed a study of fireworks injuries from June 17 through July 17. It found:

  • On average, 200 people go to emergency rooms every day with fireworks related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
  • 65 percent of these fireworks injuries in 2011 occurred during the month surrounding July 4th.
  • Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all four fireworks related deaths reported to CPSC in 2011.

Safety tips shared by Kellogg were also compiled by the CPSC. Among them:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not been ignited fully.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

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