“Leave Fireworks to the Pros,” Ocean County Commissioners Urge

Every year, more than 2,000 children nationwide are injured by fireworks, with a large percentage of injuries occurring around Independence Day.

Because of the danger posed by both store-bought legal fireworks and illegal explosive devices, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners is again asking residents to be extra careful and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

“Many of our communities have exciting fireworks displays planned for the July Fourth holiday,” said Barbara Jo Crea, Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners. “I encourage our families and visitors alike to enjoy one or more of these professionally arranged spectacular shows.”

While some types of fireworks are legal to purchase and use in New Jersey, even these devices can pose a serious hazard, especially to children.

A common sparkler can burn at nearly 3,000 degrees and cause third-degree burns, according to doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. 

Burns account for 33 percent of all fireworks-related injuries.

As the summer holiday approaches, children may be tempted by the colorful packages of fireworks displayed at many stores, Crea said.

“If you insist on buying legal fireworks, please follow the safety instructions carefully and keep the items away from small children,” she said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has safety advice for the handling of common fireworks:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of an accident or fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and quickly move to a safe distance.
  • Don’t hold lit fireworks in your hand.
  • Do not pick up or attempt to re-lite fireworks that fail to work.

While other, more destructive types of fireworks are legally sold in some other states, travelling out-of-state and bringing the devices back to New Jersey can carry heavy penalties, said Gary Quinn, Deputy Director of the Board of Commissioners.

“The kinds of fireworks common in other states are often not legal to possess or use in New Jersey,” Quinn said. 

With many retail fireworks imported from China and other countries, quality control is also an issue.

“When you light that fuse, you never know what is going to happen. A rocket can fly out of control and strike a child or land on a roof and start a fire,” Quinn said. “Don’t risk injury to yourself or others. Instead let’s make sure everyone enjoys a safe and happy Fourth of July.”

A list of professional fireworks shows for the July Fourth holiday in Ocean County is available on the Ocean County Webpage www.co.ocean.nj.us.

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  1. If anyone wants to watch a great aerial fireworks show go to Marshall Street in Lakewood on the fourth of July. Someone there puts on a great show that night and New Years Eve, plus many other nights during the year that are not holidays.

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