How to use fireworks safely and legally

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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TOWN OF WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Tents pop up every 4th of July season, selling an assortment of different types of so-called “fireworks” for everyone to enjoy.

“We see the same faces every year so it’s good to catch up with people,” said Jason Simonette, who has run a TNT Fireworks tent for 6 years.

The state legalized the sale and private use of sparklers back in 2016. Other types including firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles were all deemed illegal.

Simonette says there are easy ways to tell what can be used.

“There are no height restrictions; we have some fireworks inside this tent that will go 40, 50 feet but it has to start from the ground, and it cannot go into the air and explode,” he said.

While many people settle for smaller sets from places like TNT, others do not, setting up large displays at their homes. But in New York state, there are penalties for doing so.

“It could be as low as a violation; it could be a misdemeanor or a felony charge. There are laws for possession of fireworks and then there are other laws that can be added onto them that can bump it up to the misdemeanor or felony charge,” said Officer Shane Ryan, Watertown Police Department.

Just because the legal ones don’t make a huge bang, there are still precautions that need to be taken when using them.

“Just make sure you are not doing them indoors, or around anything that is very flammable and that you have plenty of space while these devices are being used,” said Ryan.

Simonette says he will have his tent set up through the 5th of July or until supplies last.

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