ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Fireworks are a staple in Fourth of July Celebrations, but it can be tricky to know what’s legal and what’s not if you plan on hosting your own backyard celebration.
Officials across the Capital Region are warning about the danger of using fireworks this Independence Day weekend. Using or buying some types of fireworks is illegal in New York State — that includes firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and all aerial devices.
Handheld sparklers are legal in the state, but it varies by county. The use and sale of all fireworks, including sparklers, is illegal in Albany County. That ban dates back to 2020.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan urged the public to consider their neighbors and pets with concern for health issues other people in the area might have.
“You create smoke and it creates challenges for people who have asthma, who may have asthma and COPD and other diseases that impact their ability to breathe,” Mayor Sheehan said.
Other officials stressed the risk of using fireworks, Albany Fire Chief Joseph Gregory said they will be fully staffed in case of emergencies with calls increasing around the Fourth every year.
“If things go bad, dial 9-1-1, we are fully staffed we are at the ready and as we always say safety is,” Gregory said.
In Rensselaer County, handheld sparklers are legal but officials say the risks outweigh the benefits.
Troy Fire Chief, Eric McMahon, in a statement quote: “The risks and disruption caused by illegal fireworks far outweigh the public’s interest in using them this summer. While ground-based or handheld sparkling devices are legal they pose serious risk for fires and personal injury. We urge Troy resident to celebrate Independence Day weekend responsibly and leave fireworks displays to professionals this summer.”