Safety concerns arise amidst legal fireworks

Cropped Photo: WFQX FOX 33 / MGN

BRUNSWICK, NY (NEWS 10) – A new state law allows for some additional spark in your Fourth of July celebration.

Previously banned in New York, counties had the option to opt in to Governor Cuomo’s new law allowing the sale of certain types of fireworks.

They’re on store shelves now and are raising some safety concerns.

At a Walmart in Saratoga County, News 10 caught up with a woman looking at the $30 to $70 boxes of sparkling devices.

She said that she’d been seeing these wondering if they were legal and said a nearby Price Chopper had sparklers available.

“Which is exciting for us because I really like fireworks,” Jared Hartman said while perusing the selection at a TNT tent in Brunswick.

The people running the location say it was the first in the state to go up, and beat all records in sales, people have even been coming back for more.

However, the tent is coming down.

Per a site plan with the town, one condition is that no one can sell merchandise in this WalMart parking lot.

They’re seeking a new location.

Along with Rennselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Greene, Fulton, Montgomery and Warren counties opted in.

Albany County did not.

Proponents say it’s good for the tax base.

Others concerned about safety.

“First I’d say don’t choose to have them,” Dr. John Janikas, Director of Emergency Services for Albany Memorial and Samaritan Hospital said. “Go see the professionals, go watch a fireworks display.”

He warns that their size can lead to them being considered harmless.

“Don’t think that just because it’s a small firework or a sparkler that it’s safe,” Fr. Janikas said. “These things are hot, they cause injuries, they cause burns. I think you have to be even more vigilant using them because it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.”

He says don’t mix them with alcohol, have water around in case of a fire, and keep them away from the house and children.

“Forty percent of the injuries are kids usually boys under 14-years-old,” he said. “Even those sparklers they cause a lot of burns they cause a lot of problems.”

“That is actually a big concern because let’s say a kid was running up and it could get hurt that would be the downside for fireworks here,” Hartman said.

However, this fireworks fanatic says he plans to take all the precautions this inaugural year.

These sparkling devices can only be sold to those 18-years and older.

New York State Police say it’s a crime to provide them to anyone under 18.

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