Oneida County firework sales & safety: legal v.s. illegal fireworks

Local News

UTICA, N.Y.(WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – In Oneida County, residents can buy fireworks until July 5th. However, not all fireworks are legal. Sparkling devices that do not explode in the air are the only legal fireworks in Oneida County. 

“First, the most important thing I want to discuss is the term fireworks.” – Raymond Centolella, Chief Fire Marshal, Utica F.D.

 “I want to be crystal clear, in Oneida County, fireworks are illegal. Yes, they’re illegal. However, sparkling devices are not, and that’s what you need to differentiate between the two. Any reputable, authorized by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, distributor, seller will be selling sparkling devices in the area.” 

Fireworks have a report; they are projected into the air and blown up. Sparkling devices have sparks and some may have whistles. However, the safety measures are the same for both. 

“No one under the age of 18 should be doing a sparkling device without an adult present there,” Centolla said. “When you’re done with the sparkling device, I would wait at least five minutes after lighting it off and after it self extinguishes, and then I would take the sparkling device either be it ground or handheld, and I would soak it in water for at least five minutes or longer if you’re going to dispose of it, and when you dispose of it i would dispose of it in a metal container at least overnight, so there’s no possibility of that starting a fire. Now, also, there’s a little common sense. What is around the area when you’re going to light it? Absolutely, positively, do not have sparkling devices inside a structure. If you can use it, be outside.”

If you think you may have an illegal firework that you need to dispose of or want more information on firework safety, contact your local fire department’s business line for more information.

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