How to safely use fireworks over the 4th of July weekend

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Fireworks are part of any 4th of July celebration.

Now in New York, some types of fireworks are legal to buy and sell. There is still a potential for them to become dangerous.

If you’re setting them off on your own, you want to make sure you’re doing them safely.

If you decide to forego the professional show, you might be stocking up on fireworks from a tent like Kevin Koval.

It’s important to stay safe, Koval says he is always careful, especially with kids around.

I always make sure they stay far enough away. Even after they’re done shooting off, you still want to keep away because there might still be hot sparks. There might be one left in there that didn’t fall off.”

All of the fireworks sold in New York have safety warnings on them. Vendors are required to get permits from the state.

“We want to make sure that people understand all of our bags have safety on the back of them,” Marvin Sontz, fireworks seller, said. “It tells them about what to do by placing water on them so it doesn’t relight.”

Since it’s been dry this summer, it’s even more important to only light fireworks off on the pavement and not on grass.

“So now you couple that with all of these sources of ignition from the fireworks. You have potentially a very dangerous situation.”

Firefighter John D’Alessandro says if you do find yourself in an emergency, it’s important to tell responders if fireworks are involved.

“If something unfortunate happens and someone has to call 911 if they can tell us it’s involving fireworks, sparklers, whatever. It just give us more information to resolve the problem that much more quickly,” D’Alessandro said.

Koval says it’s important to show children how to use fireworks in a safe way.

“Teach them early about safety and get them accustomed so they know how to handle them when they get older,” Koval said. “After you’re done setting off the fireworks, you’re going to want to pour some water over them or even put them in a bucket of water to make sure they’re out after you’re done enjoying them.”

“Even small fireworks like a sparkler can be dangerous. They can burn at up to 2,000 degrees,” Sontz said.

Some fireworks are now legal in New York. Sparklers and ground mounted fireworks are now sold in some stores and at tents setup across the state.

“Right now, what they’ve come up with is what they call fountains. Fountains just go into the air eight to 10 feet. Not the kind of firecrackers you can use in other states. They’re trying some stuff in the state, which I think is fine. Everything is common sense and safety.”

Even though they don’t explode like the ones you see at professional shows, they can still be dangerous.

Make sure you only set them off on pavement, not on the grass.

Never let small children light fireworks or use them unsupervised.

If you’re storing fireworks in your home, after the season, make sure you’re careful with storing them.


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