Connecticut State Police fire investigations officials conducted a fireworks safety demonstration Friday morning.
The demonstration comes amid complaints, reports and arrests involving the rise in illegal fireworks use across Connecticut this spring and summer.
"We have seen a huge increase in illegal fireworks use this year," said Detective Paul Makuc from the Connecticut State Police Fire Investigations and Enforcement Unit
Other than sparklers and fountains that are sold in stores, fireworks are illegal in Connecticut. Any aerial fireworks are illegal.
"Those items, while legal in Connecticut, are inherently dangerous," Makuc said.
Cities from New Britain to New London have reported increased fireworks usage throughout May and June.
Makuc said he responded to a call Memorial Day weekend involving injuries to a young girl from fireworks.
Children don't have the reaction time that adults have to get away from a firework, said Makuc.
Fireworks can impact veterans with PTSD, families with children, and animals, including dogs and horses.
"It's probably only going to get worse before it gets better," Makuc said about the illegal fireworks use this year.
"We've had several incidents already this year cause by fireworks," said Alan Zygmunt from the Connecticut Fire Academy.
Zygmunt said he has seen house fires this year from both legal and illegal fireworks usage.
Connecticut law prohibits the sale, possession or use of fireworks without a permit.
Here is a look more at Connecticut fireworks' laws:
Sparklers and fountains, which produce sparks when lit, are not considered fireworks and are legal in the state, but cannot be sold or used by anyone younger than 16.
Devices that fly or explode, including firecrackers, skyrockets, bottle rockets, roman candles and any firework containing any explosive or flammable compound, are illegal in Connecticut.
Novelties and trick noise makers such as smoke bombs, party poppers and snappers and the "snake," are banned in Connecticut. Sky Lanterns are also prohibited under this statute, according to police.
The State fire marshal issues permits for supervised displays of fireworks and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection licenses fireworks displays, special effects, fireworks and special effects shooters, and fireworks distributors and manufacturers.
Advice from Fire Officials
The Fairfield Police Department urges:
- Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
- Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
- Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.
- Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.