FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — With summer celebrations starting and the Fourth of July approaching, fireworks will be lighting up the sky. The Fairfield Police Department is warning residents of the potential dangers associated with illegal fireworks use.
Fairfield Police said it responds to an increasing number of fireworks complaints between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays each year.
“Every year during the summer months we see an increase in residents reporting illegal use of fireworks,” said Fairfield Police Chief Robert Kalamaras. “We ask that non-professional, non-licensed residents refrain from using fireworks as they are illegal and extremely dangerous. Instead, we encourage residents to go to community events where fireworks shows are being put on by licensed professionals.”
Police is reminding residents that it is illegal for non-professional, non-licensed individuals to purchase, use, possess or sell fireworks in Connecticut. Items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in the state.
Residents are also prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
Sparklers and fountains are not considered fireworks in the state of Connecticut and may be sold, but may not legally be sold to or used by persons younger than 16.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018.
The misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Fairfield Police Department recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
Police say residents should always:
- Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
- Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
- Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.
- Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.
Residents may report the illegal use of fireworks within the Town of Fairfield by calling (203) 254-4800.