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 reminds residents that fireworks are illegal to own or use by anyone other than licensed professionals in New York state. FASNY also urges families to learn more about the harm that fireworks can cause to people and property.
"Leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend a locally sponsored display in your neighborhood," said FASNY President Jim Burns. "Attending public fireworks displays is the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4. The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.
Even sparklers can be dangerous. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit - hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
Always make sure to follow these safety tips:
•Obey and respect any and all public safety barriers set up around the site of a professional fireworks show.
•Stay away from 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 pick up or attempt to re-light used fireworks - they may still be active and cause serious burns or injury.