City of Syracuse: Fireworks are a serious concern ahead of July 4 weekend

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds joined Mayor Ben Walsh at his weekly press conference to remind city residents of the dangers of fireworks this holiday weekend..

Mayor Walsh said the city will continue to have a dedicated patrol out and enforcing through the July 4th weekend. So far the patrol has had 8 seizures and has issued 18 appearance tickets.

The city is getting help from New York State Troopers cracking down on illegal fireworks that are coming from out of state.

Chief Monds said on average nationally, 80 people end up in the emergency room from June 21 to July 21 for firework-related injuries.

Chief Monds offered safety tips for anyone who plans on setting off their own fireworks in celebration of the 4th.

First and foremost, never use illegal fireworks! Chief Monds describes illegal fireworks as any that shoot into the air and make a booming noise. Legal fireworks, like the ones sold at many pop-up stands across Central New York, are considered sparkling devices. These are used on the ground or handheld.

For a look at which fireworks are legal and which aren’t, check out the City of Syracuse’s Firework Fact Sheet.

While legal, Chief Monds says children shouldn’t be allowed to play with sparklers. Those sparklers burn close to 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

Other tips include:

  • Wearing protective glasses
  • Keep a water source handy in case of a fire, and to douse any sparklers that have been lit, and those that may have not gone off
  • If a sparkler doesn’t go off, don’t relight it. Douse it in water to ensure it won’t be hazardous
  • Never lean any part of your body over a sparkler
  • Back up immediately after lighting
  • Light one off at a time
  • Never carry them in your pocket
  • Don’t light sparklers from glass or metal containers.
  • Keep plenty of distance between people or houses from sparklers.
  • Don’t light fireworks or sparklers inside

Chief Monds said the department has responded to 21 fireworks-related calls so far this year. The causes of those fires ranged from firework containers not being disposed of properly to people aiming fireworks at others and started a grass fire. One call was caused by someone setting fireworks off inside of a vacant building.

Dry weather conditions in June have increased the threat of fires as well.

The Syracuse Fire Department has offered plenty of fun, family-friendly Fourth of July activities as an alternative to fireworks on their Facebook page, including glow-in-the-dark bubbles and confetti poppers.

Mayor Walsh also addressed crime stats, COVID-19 cases, and the city’s fiscal situation during Thursday’s briefing. To watch it in its entirety, click on the video player below.

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