Fireworks Are Still Illegal and Dangerous: Read on, Orange

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Jun 242020

It’s that time of year again, people have already begun lighting up fireworks across the state, as the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks vendors are beginning to sell their wares.

Sparklers are dangerous, they can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees and burn your hands and/or clothing.

We all look forward to the summer weather and celebrating the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbecues, and other events.  At many of these smaller than usual gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed.  Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities, or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States.

Several years ago, the State of Connecticut made it legal for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use any sparkling device.  The use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal.

NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198!  This includes, but is not limited to, devices known as “M-80’s,” “Cherry Bombs,” “Bottle Rockets,” and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles.  While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.

•   When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves.  Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.

•    Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at their website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711.

•   Be aware of your surroundings.  Be sure others are a safe distance away before igniting any sparkling device.


•    Always have a source of extinguishment.  A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by.  Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.  A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.

The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season.  Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one.  If you would like more information, call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office  Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 203-891-4711.

OVFD: Avoid Dangers That Accompany Summer Fun

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Jul 042019

Summer activities peak during July. Everyone, for instance, loves food cooked on an outside grill. And although Independence Day is over, others celebrate summer with fireworks.

“These common activities are lots of fun, but can create hazards,” said the Orange Fire Chief. “But a little caution will keep things safe.”


Fireworks are responsible for about 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The celebratory explosives also are responsible for about three deaths and $43 million in property damage each year. In 2017, almost 13,000 people were seen in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. More a third of those were under 15 years old.

“Fireworks are inherently dangerous,” the chief said. “That’s one reason they’re illegal in Connecticut for non-professional, non-licensed consumers. We recommend you don’t use consumer fireworks. If you want to see fireworks, go to a professional display.”

While sparklers and fountains are legal, he said they’re just as dangerous as exploding fireworks.

“Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees,” he said. “To put that in perspective, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees. Would you want your child to hold on to a piece of burning wood?”

Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency department fireworks-related visits, according to the NFPA, the chief said. More information is available at the NFPA website.


“I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have some sort of grill, hibachi or other outside cooking areas,” said the chief.  “They make great food. But like anything else that operates at high temperatures, you’ve got to be careful.”

Unfortunately, he added, not everyone is.  Nationally, grills cause an average of 10,200 home fires a year, including 4,500 structure fires and $123 million in property damage. Grill-related fires cause 10 deaths and 160 injuries each year across the United States.

“It’s important to remember is that these devices are designed to be used outdoors, well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves or branches,” he said. “The grill shouldn’t be unattended, and kids and pets should be kept at least three feet away.”

He also recommended starting and ending grilling carefully. For instance, never add gasoline or lighter fluid to “speed up” your coals. And let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

For propane grills, the gas tank hose should be checked for leaks at the beginning of the year.  If you smell gas, shut off your grill and have it serviced by a professional. If the flame goes out, turn off the grill and the gas and wait at least five minutes before relighting. If you smell gas after you’ve had it serviced or turned it off, call the fire department.

“July is the peak month for grill fires,” said the chief. “Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns. Either one can ruin a great cookout.”

More information about grilling safety is available on the NFPA website.

“Summer should be a time for lots of fun,” he said. “Being careful around grills and seeing fireworks displays performed by professionals are two important steps anyone can take to keep things fun while avoiding injuries and property damage.”

Those with questions can call the Orange Volunteer Fire Department at 203-891-4703.

About Orange Volunteer Fire Association

The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues, and other emergency services.

Operating strictly with revenues from fund-raisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut. Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.

In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations, and training. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703,  click on https://www.orangevfd.org/ or find us on Facebook.