TROY, NY (June 30, 2022) – Ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend, Mayor Patrick Madden, Fire Chief Eric McMahon and Police Chief Daniel DeWolf have issued a public safety reminder about the dangers of illegal fireworks use, and the disruptions they cause for local families, veterans, and pets.
Mayor Madden said, “Illegal fireworks use not only poses a risk of personal injury, but also potential property loss and damage. Fireworks are banned in New York State, and their use disrupts quality of life and cause stress and anxiety for Troy’s more vulnerable residents—especially for babies and young children, elderly adults, pets, and those military service members suffering from PTSD. This Independence Day weekend, I urge residents to show respect for their neighbors and avoid use of illegal pyrotechnics.”
Fire Chief Eric McMahon said, “The risks and disruption caused by illegal fireworks far outweigh the public’s interest in using them this summer. While ground-based or handheld sparkling devices are legal they pose serious risk for fires and personal injury. We urge Troy resident to celebrate Independence Day weekend responsibly and leave fireworks displays to professionals this summer.”
Police Chief Daniel DeWolf said, “Use of illegal fireworks is strictly prohibited in New York State. Troy Police will be stepping up enforcement beginning this weekend and throughout the summer months to reduce disruptions in our neighborhoods caused by fireworks. Please be considerate of your neighbors this summer and instead attend professional fireworks displays.”
All types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and spinners, remain illegal across New York State. However, beginning in 2015 Rensselaer County and several dozen other counties across New York allowed the use of “sparkling devices” (ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke).
Residents can report issues or concerns to the Troy Police Department’s non-emergency number at (518) 270-4411. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
For more information on regulations for sparkling devices, please visit the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Fire Prevention and Control website.
Dangers of Illegal Fireworks Use
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. (Source: NFPA.org)
74% of fireworks-related injuries occur in the weeks before and after the July 4th holiday. 11,500 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries in 2021, with 32% of those injuries being burns. Sparklers account for approximately 12% of emergency room fireworks injuries, with more than one-third of victims of fireworks injuries under the age 15. (Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Negative Impacts of Fireworks
Fireworks can also cause anxiety and distress for residents who are military veterans suffering from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. These individuals normally can prepare in advance of community events which include loud, percussive fireworks displays. The mayor and public safety officials discourage the public from setting off fireworks within the city limits in accordance with NYS law.
John Salka, Communications Director
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131