We all look forward to the summer weather and holidays that celebrate the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbeques, and other events. At many of these gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed. Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States. Fireworks are a danger to property, as well as to people. If a fire or explosion caused by legal or illegal fireworks causes injuries and/or damage, or poses a risk of either, the person responsible may be charged with a felony criminal offense.
As we are aware by the presence of “fireworks” vendors, it is legal in the State of Connecticut for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use sparklers and fountains. Use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal. Sparklers and fountains are defined by the Office of the State Fire Marshal as non-explosive, non-aerial devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture. NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198. These include, but are not limited to, devices that are known as “M-80s”, “Cherry Bombs”, “Bottle Rockets”, and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles. Novelty items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in Connecticut. While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly. The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.
When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves. Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.
Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at our website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at 891-4711, from Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Be aware of your surroundings. Before igniting, be sure others are a safe distance from the area. Do not use fireworks at public events where large groups are gathered.
DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO HANDLE ANY TYPE OF SPARKLER.
Always have a source of extinguishment nearby. A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by. Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911. A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.
The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season. Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one. If you would like further information, please call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office.