Residents in three Western New York counties will be able to legally purchase some fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. Niagara, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties have each legalized some small fireworks after a new state law left the decision up to county governments.
So what's legal? Lt. Rob Richards of the Niagara County Sheriff's Department says "Right now, they're defined as sparkling devices, which are ground-based or hand-held devices. They produce a shower of a white-gold, multi-colored sparks as their primary pyrotechnic effect."
Lt. Richards says sales are permitted from June 1 through July 5 and then again from December 26 through January 2, but the fireworks can be used at anytime throughout the year. You must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks.
In terms of safety, Lt. Richards suggests using good judgment, supervising children and being aware of concerned neighbors in close proximity.
What about other types of fireworks? Lt. Richards notes, "Typically, with the Fourth of July, it's no secret there are people that do posses illegal fireworks. They can certainly be charged under the New York State penal law. We receive a lot of calls for service regarding the illegal fireworks that are being set off. People are concerned that any projectile fireworks may end up in their yard or in their home, possibly creating a fire or any other type of hazard. There are applicable laws that are out there, and certainly law enforcement as well as the Sheriff's office will be doing their diligence during the holiday season."
For more information the new fireworks law, click here.