Good Question: How can you ensure sparkling devices are safe and legal?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As people head out to Fourth of July parties, how can they ensure that they’re using sparklers or ground fireworks safely and legally?

For many families, the highlight of the Fourth of July is the lights high up in the sky. Matt Shaw is the owner and operator of Skylighters Fireworks based in Buffalo.

“We pretty much service all of Western New York and beyond,” Shaw said.

In our area, maybe you’ve seen tents selling fireworks popping up.

“Any of those stuff on the roadside tents that you’re gonna see, or in the storefronts, are regulated by the state fire marshalls. They do inspections to ensure that they’re not selling anything illegal there,” Shaw said.

According to New York State’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sparkling devices are legal in some counties but other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

What’s considered a sparkling device?

“They have to be a wooden stick sparkler, any fountains, nothing that’s gonna go in the air and blow up like you see at all these professional fireworks shows,” Shaw said.

If you have plans to make sparks fly for the holiday, Shaw has some tips to stay safe.

“You wanna make sure you have your hose out there, couple buckets of water. If you’re disposing of any of the wooden sticks after using your sparklers, they’re gonna be put in a bin of water or a bin of sand,” Shaw said.

He also says don’t put used sparklers in your fire pit or garbage can.

You can see our guide to Fourth of July events around the Rochester area here. The City of Rochester’s fireworks show starts at 10 p.m. on Tuesday. There will also be fireworks in Irondequoit, Greece, Henrietta, Canandaigua, and other towns.

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