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The following press release was submitted by Cheshire Fire Marshal Jeff Boland:
The Cheshire Fire Marshal’s Office wishes everyone an enjoyable and safe July Fourth holiday. Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple pie. However, the use of “consumer fireworks” dictates adult use only.
In Connecticut, the only consumer fireworks that may legally be sold or used are “sparklers” and “fountains” and they may not be sold to or used by anyone under the age of 16. The state laws define sparklers as "a hand held wire coated device with a pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks when ignited." Legal fountains are defined as "a cardboard or heavy paper cone or cylindrical tube containing pyrotechnic product that emits a shower of sparks when ignited. Both sparklers and fountains are limited to 100 gram maximum size for consumer use. These devices may not shoot into the air or produce a “bang,” they may only produce “a shower of sparks.”
Only these two types of consumer fireworks may be sold or used in the state. Any form of “firecracker,” such as a salute or aerial type, such as a Roman candle, is absolutely prohibited by state law and the possession or use is a criminal offense.
Even the use of these two legal consumer fireworks can be dangerous, which is why the law requires adult (age 16 or older) use and supervision. The tip of a hand held sparkler burns at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. The National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A.) tells us that the risk of fireworks injuries is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.
Any firework, including the legal consumer types sold in Connecticut, are not inherently safe. In fact, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day in the United States. More than half of these fires are caused by fireworks. The only safe way to enjoy fireworks on the holiday is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.