For many people, fireworks are an essential part of celebrating the Fourth of July and other special occasions. While they can be beautiful and exciting, fireworks also come with their fair share of risks and hazards. From injuries to criminal offenses, it is all too easy for a good time with fireworks to go bad.
In our years of practicing law at Carlson & Dumeer, LLC, we have seen fireworks feature in numerous criminal and personal injury cases. On this page, we share some of our insight, which includes things you need to know about Connecticut’s fireworks laws, as well as some of the most pressing safety concerns.
Are Fireworks Legal in Connecticut?
According to Connecticut law, things such as sparklers and ground-based fireworks are legal for the everyday person to use. On the other hand, aerial fireworks, Roman candles, firecrackers, and other types of fireworks are illegal to buy, sell, or use without an appropriate permit or license. Violating these laws can result in fines and criminal charges. The state classifies most fireworks offenses as misdemeanors. Cases where a person is injured or dies because of a firework accident can result in felony charges.
What to Know About Fireworks Safety
In addition to legal consequences, fireworks pose significant safety risks. Every year, thousands of people are injured by fireworks, many of them children. In 2020 alone, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that over 15,000 people had to go to a hospital for injuries they sustained in fireworks accidents. In addition to these injuries, fireworks caused 18 deaths that same year.
The risks of fireworks are not limited to injury. A 2018 report from the R. Adams Cowley Shock and Trauma Center at the University of Maryland states that fireworks start about 18,000 fires annually. In turn, these fires have caused an average of $43 million in property damage.
Because fireworks can be so dangerous, it is important to follow the state’s laws and take safety precautions.
These precautions include:
- Reading and following the instructions on the firework packaging.
- Keeping a safe distance from sparklers and fireworks.
- Setting off fireworks on solid, flat surfaces that are far away from flammable materials.
- Having water nearby in case of a fire emergency.
- Letting malfunctioning fireworks sit for at least 20 minutes before dousing them with water. Never try and re-light a dud firework.
- Keeping children and pets away from fireworks. In Connecticut, it is illegal for those younger than 16 to purchase or use fireworks.
- Never using fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Carlson & Dumeer, LLC Is Here for You
Have you or a loved one been injured by someone using fireworks recklessly? Are you facing criminal charges for a firework-related offense? Turn to Carlson & Dumeer, LLC. In both situations, you have rights that our team of skilled attorneys can fight for and defend. To schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and what we can offer you, do not hesitate to reach out. We are proud to represent clients in Hartford and Middletown.
Call (877) 795-5594 or send us a message online.