Government and fire officials urge caution when handling sparkling devices this Fourth of July weekend
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services urges caution when handling sparkling devices during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
All other types of consumer fireworks remain illegal statewide, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and State Office of Fire Prevention and Control today urged New Yorkers to handle sparkling devices responsibly when celebrating the Fourth of July.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates approximately 10,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks in 2019. Almost three-quarter of injuries occurred during a one-month period around the Fourth of July.
“When joining with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our great nation this year, I urge all New Yorkers to handle sparkling devices carefully since mishandling these devices can cause significant burn injuries,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy.
“Remember it is illegal for anyone under 18 years old to use sparkling devices.”
New York State Law allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as sparkling devices. Legal ground-based or handheld sparkling devices produce a shower of colored sparks or a colored flame, audible crackling, or whistling noise and smoke. The devices do not launch into the air.
Sparkling devices are legal in all New York State counties except Albany, Columbia, Schenectady, and Westchester, some cities in Orange County (see local laws), all five boroughs of New York City, and Long Island.
All other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.
“As with any device which purposely emits live sparks and fire, it should be easy to understand the need for extra caution when handling sparkling devices,” said Acting State Fire Administrator James Cable. “Be sure to obtain all such devices legally and follow all safety instructions which come with the packaging to ensure loved ones and neighbors stay injury-free throughout the holiday.
"Have fun, but please be mindful of your own and others’ safety when using sparkling devices.”
Sales of sparkling devices by certified permanent and specialty retailers can only occur from June 1 to July 5 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Sales of sparkling devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
Sellers, manufacturers, and distributors of sparkling devices must apply for a license from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and follow other rules and conditions.
Registered sparkling device vendors (four) in Genesee County are listed below:
- Tops Market LLC, 128 W. Main St., Le Roy, NY 14482
- Tops Market LLC, 390 W. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020
- Keystone Novelties Distributors LLC, 125 W. Main St., Le Roy, NY 14482 -- Temporary Retailer
- Keystone Novelties Distributors LLC, C Store, 8073 Clinton St., Bergen, NY 14416 -- Temporary Retailer
To see the entire NYS list, click here (pdf).
If sparkling devices are legal to purchase in your county, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control offers the following safety tips:
- Purchase sparkling and novelty devices from New York State registered retailers only;
- Always follow directions located on the packaging;
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparkling devices. It is illegal for anyone under 18 years old to use sparkling devices;
- Never use sparkling devices indoors. All sparkling devices are for outdoor use only;
- Always wear eye protection when using sparkling devices;
- Never light more than one sparkling device at a time;
- Never point a sparkling device tube toward anyone or any part of your body;
- Keep sparkling and novelty devices in a safe secure location when not in use;
- Never use sparkling devices when under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Always keep an approved fire extinguisher nearby during a display. Douse malfunctioning and spent devices with water before discarding to prevent a fire;
- Store sparkling devices in a safe location away from young children;
- Keep unused sparkling devices dry and away from ignition sources.
For more information on the sale and use of sparkling devices in New York State, visit the Office of Fire Prevention and Control website.
As we approach the July Fourth Independence Day Holiday, Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano of the City of Batavia Fire Department would like to remind residents that: “We want to ensure that our residents enjoy the holiday in a safe and responsible manner. It is important to take the necessary fire safety precautionary steps when using these devices.”
If any resident has questions regarding what is allowable or would like information regarding safety precautions, they can call the City of Batavia Fire Headquarters at (585) 345-6375.
“We see a steady increase in calls for service this time of year for fireworks related complaints,” said Police Chief Shawn Heubusch. “Residents are cautioned that if fireworks are purchased out of state or over the internet and do not meet the definition of sparkling device, they are not only illegal, but are dangerous. We want to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy July Fourth Holiday.”