Injuries are rising as multiple agencies work to warn New Yorkers of the dangers of fireworks.

Governor Kathy Hochul reminded New Yorkers today that the Fourth of July weekend typically results in an increase in sparkling contraptions and fireworks-related injuries. Foodborne illnesses and water accidents are also more common during the holiday season. Three national agencies provide expertise to alert people to dangers and create a safer and more enjoyable time for all.

“The Fourth of July is a special time to get together and spend time with family and friends,” Governor Hocher said. “As we celebrate Independence Day, I encourage everyone to follow these tips and enjoy the holiday weekend. Stay away from the preventable: Stay away from dangerous fireworks, be careful around water, and don’t let food poisoning ruin your weekend.”

The New York State Department of Consumer Protection, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC), and the New York State Department of Health are reminding New Yorkers to stay safe as they celebrate Independence Day. Thousands of people, mostly children, teens and young adults, are injured each year while using fireworks and flashing devices, with most injuries occurring in the weeks surrounding July 4th. At least 11 people will die and an estimated 10,200 will be injured in incidents involving fireworks across the United States in 2022, with the majority (73%) occurring in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July holiday. 2021 Report US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that between 2006 and 2021, fireworks-related injuries have increased by 25%.

In 2021, New York State emergency departments reported 199 fireworks-related injury visits, 142 of which occurred between June 18 and July 2018. In addition, 24% of patients who visited during the period were 18 years of age or younger. Injuries to children and adults include eye and ear damage, burns, puncture wounds, and permanent scarring.

Common causes of fireworks-related injuries are:

  • Fast fuze firecrackers explode before being thrown.

  • A misguided rocket hit a bystander.

  • A curious young man goes to investigate why a firecracker “failed” to explode.

While avoiding illegal fireworks is the best way to prevent injury, the department also recommends simple precautions when viewing professional fireworks displays, including using earplugs for hearing protection, keeping a safe distance from launch sites and keeping pets at home. If your pet is nervous about fireworks at home, consult your veterinarian about ways to protect and comfort him or her.

Fireworks – what is and is not legal in New York State:

What is legal:

  • Every year from June 1st to July 5th, registered sellers will sell flash units. Spark devices are ground or hand-held spark devices that produce colored sparks or colored flames, crackling or whistling, and smoke. They are not launched into the air.

  • Users must be at least 18 years old to use flash devices.

What is illegal:

  • Possession and use of flashing devices in cities with a population over 1 million and where prohibited by local law. This includes New York City and the following counties: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Erie, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange (banned only in the cities of Middletown and Newburgh), Queens, Richmond, Skene Ketadi, Suffolk, Warren and Westchester. The list of counties where the sale and possession of flash devices is prohibited is constantly changing; to ensure compliance, check with your local county sheriff’s office.

  • Fireworks, including firecrackers, rocket bottles, Roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, are illegal statewide.

The DCP and OFPC offer guidance for New Yorkers planning to celebrate the 4th of July holiday next week with sparkly gadgets:

  • Children and fireworks are a dangerous combination. Never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. Fireworks burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s hot enough to melt some metals.

  • Never throw or point flash devices at people, animals, vehicles, buildings or flammable materials. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

  • As a precaution, have a water source nearby or keep an approved fire extinguisher nearby during the show.

  • Make sure whoever fires the flash device wears eye protection at all times.

  • Only ignite one sparkling unit at a time, never try to re-ignite a “useless” unit.

  • Always use sparkling equipment outdoors. Never light fireworks indoors.

  • Store your shiny device in a cool dry place away from children and pets.

  • Do not use a foaming device if you are under the influence of alcohol.

  • Always wear goggles when using flash equipment

  • Buy flash and novelty devices only from New York State registered retailers

Certified permanent and specialty retailers may only sell sparkling units during the year June 1st to July 5th and December 26 to January 2. Flash installations may only be sold through certified pop-up booths or tents June 20 to July 5 and December 26 to January 2.

A list of registered foaming equipment suppliers appears here.

OFPC also encourages parents and guardians to provide children and teens with non-flammable alternatives to foaming devices, which are readily available at most retail outlets.

Suggested items include:

  • light stick

  • Pipe Cleaner “Firework”

  • fairy light

  • LED project

New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez “The Fourth of July brings family and friends together to celebrate and enjoy the summer weather, but it’s also one of the holidays with the highest accident rates. As we celebrate Independence Day this year, we encourage New Yorkers to learn which fireworks are legal to consume in New York State and How to use them safely.”

DHS Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Sparkly contraptions and illegal fireworks cause injuries and start unnecessary fires every year. Make safety your number one priority when celebrating the holidays and choose the safest, most spectacular option: leave it to the professionals and attend the nearest Public fireworks display.”

New York State Fire Commissioner James Cable said, “While New Yorkers will enjoy the upcoming holiday season with family and friends, adding fireworks and flashing devices to the festivities could lead to unnecessary emergency room visits and increase the chances of starting an out-of-control fire. Should you choose to use legal With the flash installations this weekend, we recommend taking extra precautions and prioritizing fire safety.”

New York National Health Commissioner Dr James McDonald said, “Holiday celebrations shouldn’t end with a trip to the emergency room. While it can be fun to make noise and watch a colorful display of fireworks, I encourage all New Yorkers to make the safe choice to enjoy a professional public fireworks display rather than exposing themselves, loved ones, Friends and communities are at risk from illegal personal fireworks.”

The New York State Department of Health is also reminding New Yorkers of food safety and water safety during the summer and holiday season.

Food safety is also a key component of ensuring a great holiday, and some proven food preparation procedures can help prevent potentially serious illness or even death. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat and before preparing or serving ready-to-eat foods. Meat should be cooked to the proper temperature to avoid illness-causing bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which can be found in undercooked meats such as chicken and hamburgers.

Hot outdoor temperatures can also affect the safety of perishable foods. Perishable foods should be refrigerated within 2 hours. If food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, refrigerate within 1 hour.Department offers food safety tips here And advice for those planning a BBQ here.

As long as water safety is a priority, a day at the beach or pool can be the perfect way to enjoy summer and celebrate the holidays. Each year, hundreds of New Yorkers drown or are hospitalized with serious injuries from drowning. Some tips for safe swimming include never swimming alone, supervising children near water, avoiding drugs and alcohol while swimming, and learning basic swimming and water safety skills.Additional advice on water safety can be found at here.

About the New York State Department of Consumer Protection

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and educational materials to consumers about product safety, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The Consumer Assistance Line, 1-800-697-1220, is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding national holidays), and consumers may file a complaint at any time at the following address:

About the State Fire Service

The Office of Fire Prevention and Control provides a wide range of services to firefighters, first responders, state and local government agencies, public and private universities, and the citizens of New York. The office promotes public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigation, special operations and technical rescue programs. Providing these essential services enables the Office to make a significant contribution to the safety of the entire New York State.

About the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support for efforts to prevent, prepare for, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires, and other emergencies.For more information, please visit DHES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on twitter and Instagramor visit

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