Briella TomassettiJun 12, 2018, 7:54 pm

Nassau institutes sparkler ban ahead of Independence Day

Officials say the devices can quickly turn a party into a trip to the hospital

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MINEOLA — With Independence Day approaching, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signed legislation banning the use of sparklers Tuesday.

Members of the county legislature and the fire marshal's office worked together on the bill to prohibit the sale or use of sparkling devices which make up a large number of firework injuries each year, especially for children.

"They look harmless,” Curran said. “But they are incredibly harmful. They can cause fires and serious injury."

The Nassau legislature unanimously passed the legislation after heeding warnings from the fire marshal's office and volunteer firefighters. Sparklers can reach an incredibly hot temperature of 2,000 degrees. In comparison, a burning match is only about 600 to 800 degrees.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in 10,500 emergency visits in 2014. Children between five and nine had the highest rate of injuries and more than 1,400 emergency department visits treated injuries were caused by sparklers.

Nassau is now one of several areas across New York State that have chosen to “opt out” of the Small Fireworks Law, a state law that exempts sparkling devices from the definition of “fireworks and dangerous fireworks.”

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