Hot Topics    

Safety tips for a safe 4th of July



Celebrate safely and use extreme caution with fireworks and family gatherings

Safety tips for a safe 4th of July


The 4th of July weekend typically sees a rise in firework related injuries and increase in drunk driving cases 

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez urges New Yorkers to celebrate safely and use extreme caution with fireworks and family gatherings.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds New Yorkers to keep safe while celebrating Independence Day. As we celebrate this annual tradition with festivities ranging from fireworks, picnics, parades, family gatherings and barbecues, let’s also remember basic safety tips that apply to everyone.

“I know many New Yorkers are eager to celebrate Independence Day this year, but we must ensure our celebrations are safe and fun,” said New York State, Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez who oversees the NYS Division of Consumer Protection. “Around this holiday, the biggest threats to safety are very close to home. The 4th of July is one of the holidays with the highest number of accidents. We want to make sure the time-honored holiday tradition of fireworks is done safely by following basic tips.”

“Summertime, and especially the Fourth of July, are times of celebration and togetherness, but when fireworks and sparkling devices are added to the party, it can lead to very serious injuries for those involved,” New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said. "The best way to stay safe this Fourth of July is to leave the fireworks to the professionals, but if you plan on using sparkling devices, please make sure you do so as safely as possible.”

Around the 4th of July, there are a lot of fire-related accidents. Every year, thousands of people — most of them children, teens and young adults — are injured while using fireworks. Most of these injuries happen in the month around the 4th of July. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that nationally nearly half of the fireworks-related injuries were to people younger than 20 years of age.

Additionally, the 4th of July is one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, dates around this holiday, sadly, often see an increase in impaired driving crashes. Drunk driving isn’t the only risky behavior causing crashes on our roads; drug-impaired and distracted driving are issues too. Many people recognize that driving under the influence is dangerous.  However, many people fail to recognize the danger of driving while distracted, especially if they try to talk or text on a cell phone. 

NYS Division of Consumer Protection wants you to enjoy a safe holiday and offers these tips you can follow:

FIREWORKS - WHAT’S LEGAL AND WHAT’S NOT IN NEW YORK STATE:

What’s Legal:

  • Sale of sparkling devices by registered sellers from June 1 until July 5 annually. Sparkling devices are ground-based or handheld sparking devices that produce a shower of colored sparks or colored flame, crackling or whistling noise and smoke. They do not launch into the air.
  • Users must be 18 years or older to use sparkling devices.

What’s Not Legal:

  • Sparkling devices are illegal in New York City and the following counties: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange (prohibited in the Cities of Middletown and Newburgh only), Queens, Richmond, Schenectady, Suffolk, Warren and Westchester. The list of counties that prohibit the sale and possession of sparkling devices is ever changing, thus to be sure your compliant please check with your local county sheriff’s office.
  • Any other types of fireworks including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices are illegal statewide. 

TIPS TO CELEBRATE SAFELY:

Tips for Using Sparkling Devices Safely:

  • Children and Sparklers are a Dangerous Combination. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • If you are impaired by alcohol, don’t use fireworks.

Tips for Driving Safely:

  • Avoid driving while impaired. If you are driving this July 4th, make sure to watch out for others as they may not be sober.
  • If you plan to drink, make a plan ahead of time for a sober ride home.
  • A sober driver is one who does not drink at all, not the one who has had the least to drink from a group of people. Even if you’ve had only one drink, let someone who hasn’t been drinking take you home.
  • If you’re hosting a 4th of July gathering, help the designated drivers out by making sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.

To learn more about consumer safety, or to file a marketplace consumer complaint against a business or individual, please contact the Division’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 697-1220 or visit its website at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. Follow the Division of Consumer Protection on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysconsumer. 



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • 6 things to know about COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

    Safety info and more

    COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children under 5 years old, and the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging parents to get their children vaccinated. read more »
  • Life saving COVID-19 treatments

    What you need to know

    While stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the goal, the reality is that every day, more people contract the disease. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of available treatment options. read more »
  • Are you at increased risk of getting Pneumococcal Pneumonia?

    You can prevent this deadly disease with a vaccine

    Pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can be contracted any time of year. read more »
  • 5 reasons why your child should (and can) learn how to play chess

    A revolutionary new game that helps kids learn this game of strategy

    Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in history, with early forms of the game dating back to the 6th century CE. The game has certainly seen a revival since the pandemic began, as people around the globe have dusted off their chess boards and even binged one of the most-watched series ever inspired by the masterful game for much-needed entertainment. read more »
  • How do I get my child excited to learn chess?

    A fun new way to teach your kids

    Chess has been linked to countless benefits, everything from critical thinking to emotional intelligence and grit. But chess can also carry an old stigma of being stuffy, elitist, boring and impossible to learn. The first part is true. The second part doesn’t have to be. read more »
  • Clear the bathroom clutter

    Tips to make your bathroom a clean and functional space

    Due to their small size and heavy usage, bathrooms can become messy, cluttered areas for many families. For those with smaller bathrooms, storage solutions can be even harder to find. read more »
  • Jump-start success at school with wellness at home

    Starts the day with a healthy and delicious breakfast

    Setting the stage for success in the classroom starts with reliable morning routines the whole family can depend on. Establishing a plan for each day before heading off for work or school is beneficial for staying on time and organized, and many families’ mornings start with a nutritious breakfast. read more »
  • 5 fun ways to get little ones active

    Start a healthy lifestyle for your child early

    Movement is an essential part of early childhood development. It encourages motor skills and helps kids grow to be healthy and strong. There are tons of fun ways to get little ones on the move! Here are some great activities, games and toys to try incorporating into children’s playtime: read more »
  • How to create connections with your child’s teacher

    Build a relationship to help create a positive school experience for everyone

    A new school year can feel like uncharted territory for children, parents and teachers alike as they learn new things and meet unfamiliar faces. Building a relationship with your child’s teacher can help create a positive school experience for everyone involved. read more »
  • Recreation destinations with access for people with disabilities

    18 Hudson Valley parklands recommended by the DEC

    New York campgrounds, educational centers and other facilities offer many recreational opportunities for people with disabilities (and the rest of us), including camping, picnicking, fishing and nature viewing. read more »