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Police caution against celebrating Independence Day with illegal fireworks

CITY News/File photo

(WRVO & WXXI News) New York State Police and other police agencies will be out in full force this holiday weekend, making sure people celebrating Independence Day are following the law.

Trooper Jack Keller said when it comes to fireworks, your best bet is to leave it to the professionals.

"There are many opportunities over the weekend,” said Keller. “Remember those (fireworks displays) at the parks and the roadsides will be busy with people parking along the roads and looking up at the sky, so please watch out for families and young children. And be patient when you're leaving those displays."

Keller said sparkling devices that are sold in New York state are legal, but can carry a significant risk. A report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that in 2020, more than 2,400 people were hurt using devices like Roman candles, sparklers, or fountains.

The commission also found a significant upward trend in overall fireworks related injuries with a 25 percent increase since 2006.

Keller said there are other potential consequences, too.

"If you're using illegal fireworks and injure someone, you are liable,” said Keller. “Do not bring illegal fireworks in from Pennsylvania or other areas to New York, or you could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor."

There are a number of fireworks displays Monday night throughout the Rochester area, including the largest one, in downtown Rochester.

The fireworks will begin at 10 p.m. The best viewing locations for the fireworks are the Court Street Bridge and the Broad Street Bridge.

The fireworks show is expected to last 15-20 minutes

Free parking will be available in the Sister Cities, Court Street, and Washington Square garages.

Jessica Cain
Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.