HARTFORD -- The 4th of July is almost here and people are buying fireworks to shoot off.
Laws vary from state to state and Connecticut regulations are stricter than others in New England.
According to South Windsor police, Connecticut fireworks laws allow the following items to be sold, purchased, or used by a person who is 16 and older.
- Sparklers: defined as a wire or stick coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition.
- Fountain: defined as any cardboard or heavy paper cone or cylindrical tube containing pyrotechnic mixture that upon ignition produces a shower of colored sparks or smoke; Includes fountains with a spike for insertion into the ground, a fountain with a base for placing on the ground, and a handle fountain which uses a handheld device with a wooden or cardboard handle.
Prohibited items include devices that fly or explode:
- Skyrockets/bottle rockets
- Roman candles
- Any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound
- For a more detailed definition see the state statute at CGS 29-356 & 29-357.
The penalty for violating the State's fireworks statutes is a $100 fine or not more than 90 days in jail or both.
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.