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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Police issue warning on sparklers

MILFORD - The Milford Police Department Crime Prevention Unit has offered information on state laws regarding sparklers.

Sparklers, police said, are "defined as any sparkling device of not more than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture per item and which are non-explosive and non-aerial, are legal and may be sold, purchased or used, only by persons 16 years of age or older," police said in a statement.

"Novelty items such as bottle rockets, fire crackers, smoke bombs and 'snakes' remain illegal to possess and discharge, the statement said.

Whilethe state statute allows use of sparklers, they may be handled or used only by persons 16 years of age or older, the statement said.

"Kids should never play with fireworks. Sparklers can reach 1,800° Fahrenheit (982° Celsius) — hot enough to melt gold," the statement said. "Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 53 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2008. Over 84 percent of fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involve fireworks that federal regulations permit consumers to use."

Police also warned that "fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction." "Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period," the statement said.

Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals, the statement said.

Milford Police will have extra patrols on duty during the July 4th holiday to enforce the state laws and city ordinances concerning fireworks, the statement said.

"Many fireworks are potentially fatal and even sparklers can cause serious burns. Parents should know that they could be held responsible for their children’s involvement in illegal firework activity," the statement said

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