Fireworks in NYS: What’s allowed and what’s not?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We are just days away from the Fourth of July and that means fireworks, but what’s allowed and what’s not?

The good news is fireworks are legal in New York State and here in Monroe County, however, there are 10 counties in the state where they aren’t legal:

• Albany County
• Bronx County
• Columbia County
• Kings County
• Nassau County
• New York County
• Orange County (prohibited in Middletown and Newburgh only)
• Queens County
• Richmond County
• Schenectady County
• Suffolk County
• Westchester County

If you do buy, you have to buy what’s called a "sparkling device."

“Every year we talk about the safety, but every year we still have either people being injured by fireworks or home fires or car fires due to fireworks,” Lt. David Abdoch with the Rochester Fire Department said.

It’s that time of year again, where soon you’ll see fireworks light up the night sky and as the 4th of July approaches, firework tents are popping up across the state.

“New York State, the sparklers, the snakes, things like that that will, you know, stay on the ground and burn versus go up and explode and send embers all over the place,” Lt. Abdoch said.

New York State law requires that these sparkling devices must be handheld or mounted on a base, they still shower colors, smoke, crackle and pop for your entertainment.

If you are looking for the fireworks that go "boom", think again.

According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control, consumer fireworks including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

“It’s hard to look at all of these and not realize what they do and then we tell them what they might want for the show, start off with some sparklers and then ending with a bigger bang show to entertain their friends and family with on the fourth,” TNT Fireworks tent Ontario operator Jackie Larner said.

Larner said they opened Saturday and they are starting to see a steady group of people come in.

“Everything that I sell is legal so we have fireworks that go maybe 15 feet high with the spraying and the sparks but none of our fireworks launch,” Larner said.

With safety instructions posted, Larner said while some ask for the illegal stuff, that’s not an option at her tent.

Abdoch said they encourage those to be smart in how they celebrate. “Last year, I think it was up to 10,000 injuries across the state here of people who got injured due to fireworks."

Lt. Abdoch said they do have inspectors who go to all of these tents across Monroe County and check if legal fireworks are being sold.