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Firework Safety: Sparklers and Safety Precautions for Guilford Residents

As we approach the summer months and the season of celebrations, the Guilford Fire Department wants to remind residents about the importance of firework safety. Fireworks are a traditional part of many festivities, but they come with significant risks if not handled properly. In Connecticut, the only legally allowed fireworks for consumer use are sparklers and fountains. According to Connecticut General Statutes Section 29-357, individuals who are sixteen years of age or older may purchase, use, or possess sparklers or fountains containing no more than one hundred grams of pyrotechnic mixture per item. These must be nonexplosive and nonaerial.

Understanding the Risks of Non-Approved Fireworks

While sparklers and fountains are permitted, other types of fireworks are illegal for consumer use in Connecticut due to their high risk of causing injuries and fires. It’s essential to recognize the potential dangers and adhere strictly to the approved types of fireworks.

Potential Dangers to Humans

- Severe Injuries: Non-approved fireworks, such as firecrackers, roman candles, and bottle rockets, are more powerful and can cause severe injuries, including burns, lacerations, and even amputations.

- Eye Injuries: The explosions from these fireworks can lead to serious eye injuries, potentially causing blindness.

- Unpredictable Explosions: Non-approved fireworks are often more volatile and can malfunction, causing unexpected explosions that can harm users and bystanders.

Risks to Property and Nature

- Structural Fires: Illegal fireworks can easily ignite homes, buildings, and other structures, leading to potentially devastating fires. The powerful explosions can also cause physical damage to property.

- Wildfires: During dry conditions, fireworks that explode or shoot into the air can ignite grass, leaves, and other vegetation, leading to wildfires that can spread rapidly and endanger entire communities.

Safety Tips for Handling Sparklers

If you choose to use sparklers, follow these safety tips to minimize the risk of injury or fire:

  1. Supervision: Always supervise children while they are using sparklers. Ensure they hold sparklers away from their body and from others.

2. Clear Area: Use sparklers in an open area away from buildings, dry leaves, and flammable materials.

3. Proper Disposal: After the sparkler has burned out, immerse it in water before discarding it to prevent accidental fires.

4. Protective Gear: Consider wearing safety glasses to protect your eyes from sparks.

5. Non-flammable Surfaces: Light sparklers away from grass, wooden decks, and other flammable surfaces.

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional display. Trained professionals know how to handle fireworks safely and are prepared to deal with any emergencies that might arise. These displays are conducted in controlled environments where the risks to people and property are minimized.

At the Guilford Fire Department, your safety is our top priority. By understanding the dangers associated with non-approved fireworks and following the legal guidelines and safety tips for sparklers, you can enjoy your celebrations without unnecessary risks. Remember, while sparklers may be legal and relatively safer, other types of fireworks are illegal and pose significant dangers. For a truly safe and spectacular celebration, leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the show from a safe distance.

Stay safe and enjoy your celebrations responsibly!

For more information on firework safety or other fire-related inquiries, please visit the Guilford Fire Department's website or contact us directly.


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