Groups like Faith 2 Faith Ministries in Waterford have set up fireworks tents ahead of Independence Day, but before the first sparklers can be sold, the fire marshal must inspect the merchandise, and state police can also stop by to take a look.
“I'm just doing a compliance check to make sure that everything is Connecticut legal,” said State police Det. Joseph Lombardi, as he walked into the Faith 2 Faith tent on Wednesday.
Lombardi went through each item being sold, making sure only sparklers and fountains are for sale. They're the only two fireworks that are legal in the state.
“You look at this. It resembles a bottle rocket, which is illegal because it is aerial and it explodes, although this doesn't go anywhere. It stays on the ground,” said Lombardi, while showing one of the fireworks.
All the items at the TNT Fireworks tent in Waterford checked out.
"One thing we do, and take a lot of pride in, is making ourselves aware what the laws are, so we can be in compliance with the law," said Brian Kearney, the area manager of TNT Fireworks for Connecticut and Rhode Island.
TNT Fireworks also supplies the State Fire Marshal's Office with a list of what is being sold and the chemical composition of each item to make sure they are in compliance with state standards.
But Lombardi says not all places are as diligent.
“Some of the other things we find, kind of mixed in by accident, because this stuff gets shipped all over the country, are those novelty items, such as the snaps or the champagne poppers, or the snakes, all which cause an explosion and is illegal,” said Lombardi.
State police say that while sprinklers and fountains are legal, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to visit a display put on by your city or town.