Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden is urging all residents and visitors to enjoy their 4th of July holiday celebrations while staying safe from the dangers of illegal fireworks.
“The result of fireworks being handled in the wrong way can cause serious injuries,” said Sheriff Golden. “It’s important to know that the danger is not only limited to general Fourth of July fireworks. Even sparklers should be kept away from children, as they can easily cause harm.”
Fireworks are dangerous, illegal and should only be handled by the professionals, Golden said. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average are treated for fireworks related injuries on a daily basis during the month around the July 4th holiday.
In 2016, during a two week period, prior to and after the Fourth of July holiday, the Monmouth County 9-1-1 Communications Center received 193 calls related to fireworks. For 2015, during that time period, there were 168 fireworks related calls.
“It’s our intent to have that number decrease this year by sending the message out to stay clear of fireworks,” said Sheriff Golden. “Let the professionals handle the fireworks and celebrate America’s independence responsibly and safe.”
New Jersey Criminal Code Title 21:2-6 states: “It shall be unlawful to manufacture, sell, transport or use dangerous fireworks within the state.” Dangerous fireworks are defined in Title 21:2-3 as:
- Toy torpedoes containing more than 5 grains of an explosive composition.
- Paper caps containing more than .35 grains of explosive composition.
- Firecrackers or salutes exceeding 5 inches in length or ¾ inch in diameter
- Cannons, canes, pistols or other devices designed for use otherwise than with paper caps
- Any fireworks containing a compound of yellow or white phosphorous or mercury
- Any fireworks that contain a detonator or blasting cap
- Fireworks compositions that ignite spontaneously or undergo marked decomposition when subjected for 48 consecutive hours to a temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit
- Fireworks that can be exploded en masse by a blasting cap placed in one of the units
- Fireworks such as sparklers or fuses, containing a match tip or head, or similar igniting point or surface, unless each individual tip, head or igniting point or surface is thoroughly covered and securely protected from accidental contact or friction with any other surface
- Fireworks containing an ammonium salt and a chlorate