OSWEGO, NY – Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters.
Oswego Fire Department Chief Jeff McCrobie advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.
“Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” Chief McCrobie said.
According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments annually.
Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts, and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.
Children are especially at risk for injuries from fireworks.
Of those injured, 35 percent of victims with injuries from fireworks were under the age of 15.
Children should never play with fireworks and even sparklers can reach 1200º Fahrenheit.
The most common injuries are from firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.
The most serious of injuries are typically caused by powerful fireworks, such as M-80s, rockets and cherry bombs.
Consumer fireworks are illegal in New York State and although some counties have opted to legalize the use of sparkling devices, Oswego County has not.
Even sparklers, which may seem harmless, can cause serious burns and can ignite nearby combustibles.
Remember, the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch one of the professional fireworks displays here in the city of Oswego.
“The Oswego Speedway will have fireworks after racing on Saturday and we will have our usual display over Oswego Harbor on Sunday,” the chief noted.
Residents in the city of Oswego are also reminded that large bonfires are illegal and small campfires must be away from other combustibles, have a spark arrester screen and only natural wood can be burned.
A means of extinguishment must be readily available and the fire must be constantly attended.
Fires that are objectionable because of smoke, odor or safety concerns must be extinguished.
Please call the Oswego Fire Department headquarters with concerns at (315) 343-2161.