New Haven City officials warn of firework safety ahead of Fourth of July

New Haven police talk about Fourth of July safety
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:59 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - The city of New Haven is asking residents to have fun but to be safe this Fourth of July.

The city says they will be hosting their own fireworks event on Independence Day. However, for those residents who are celebrating at home, the New Haven police and fire departments are asking residents to be careful.

New Haven Fire Chief John Alston says fireworks, can turn to actual fires if they are not handled properly.

“Five major fires since I’ve been the Chief in the city of New Haven were caused by improper disposal of fireworks. They thought they were duds and out, throwing them in plastic garbage cans. It lit two houses on fire,” says Alston.

With the Fourth of July still a week away, the city says they’re already getting calls about illegal fireworks.

Officials with the city say they will have a task force made up of police and fire investigators out in hot spot areas this holiday weekend.

“In the end we want everybody to have fun. We want to make sure they’re safe. We’re not looking to go out and aggressively fine our citizens. We want to make sure everyone is safe. A lot of times, we’re giving a lot of warnings,” says Lt. Nick Marcucio of the New Haven Police Department.

City officials also say unless it’s a sparkler or a fountain that shoots under six feet, it’s illegal.

“A lot of these injuries do come from children. They don’t know any better so parents, we ask you to please make sure you are watching your kids, and they’re not playing with fireworks because the risk of injury to them is high,” says Marcucio.

The city says the potential for burns to the hands and face is just one worry they have.

“The issue with fireworks, especially illegal ones, is they shoot up in the air, and no one knows where they come down,” says Investigator Doug Wardlaw of the New Haven fire Department.

“Be safe, let the professionals do it,” says Wardlaw.

Fireworks put on by the city will start a little after 9:00 pm and can be viewed at Wilbur Cross.