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Fireworks: Illegal, Dangerous And Seemingly Everywhere

Officials in Nassau County are reminding residents that fireworks are illegal. They say complaints about fireworks are up 400% compared to the same time last year. And that’s the sentiment in many communities right now. 

County Executive Laura Curran says she believes people are bored. They’ve been cooped up due to the pandemic and traditional fireworks displays have been canceled. 

But they can also be dangerous.

“We don't like to pick up the paper and read stories about kids who've had fingers blown off and other kinds of injuries from these fireworks.”

Credit Desiree D'Iorio / WSHU
Members of the Nassau County Arson and Bomb Squad used a mannequin to demonstrate how quickly a sparkler can cause clothing to ignite. They also said sparklers are responsible for more than 35% of firework-related injuries each year, and those injured are usually children.

Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says the loud booms can also be harmful to Long Island’s large population of military veterans, some of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. And they can trigger anxiety in pets. 

Members of the police department’s Arson and Bomb Squad demonstrated what happens when a blockbuster firework explodes in a backpack.

“Let's enjoy our time together as families instead of spending it in a hospital or a night in the Nassau County jail because you got caught with these fireworks. I don't think anybody wants to have their kid walking around with one of those in their backpack,” Ryder said.

Police encourage residents to dial 911 if they see someone set off fireworks. Reports about the sale of fireworks in Nassau County can also be emailed.  

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
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