Officials: Leave fireworks to the pros

State and local public safety officials caution citizens against the dangers of fireworks, as well as the risks of getting arrested for possessing them.

Each year nationwide, on average, there are 10,000 injuries, three deaths and 25,000 fires due to the use of illegal fireworks.

The only personal-use fireworks permitted by law in Connecticut are sparklers and fountains.

But Wilton Fire Chief Ronald Kanterman reminds residents that fireworks of any type, including sparklers and fountains, are banned in and around the viewing area at the high school athletics complex for the town’s July 4 celebration events, which includes a permitted fireworks show.

Illegal devices to use, store or sell in Connecticut are bottle rockets, Chinese lanterns, firecrackers, black cats, lady fingers, roman candles, smoke bombs, party poppers, snakes, professional display aerial shells shot from mortar tubes without a permit from the state fire marshal, M-80s, M-100s, cherry bombs, blockbusters, quarter sticks and similar devices.

Illegal possession of explosives is a felony. Purchasing and transporting explosives across state lines is a crime.

Fire chiefs and fire marshals along with law enforcement and others in the public safety community urge citizens to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend by taking friends and families to a legal, licensed and permitted public fireworks display — and leave it to the professionals.

The warnings come in a statement this week from Connecticut’s career fire chiefs, fire chiefs, fire marshals and police chiefs’ associations.