Fireworks Facts: Sparklers Legal, All Others Illegal

We here at the Village of Green Island encourage everyone to celebrate our independence on the 4th of July. However, your safety is more important than anything, which is why Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan, Police Chief Christopher Parker and Fire Chief Robert Bourgeois want you to know what is legal and what is not.

A change in New York State Penal Law and Albany County Law a few years ago now allows for the sale and use of only a specific category of consumer fireworks known as Sparkling Devices. All other fireworks are still illegal in New York State.

Sparkling Devices are ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The law limits the type, size and construction of Sparkling Devices and requires that these devices must be hand held or mounted on a base or spike and be limited in sizes that range from 1 to 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition.

Sale and use of Sparkling Devices are legal only in counties and cities that have enacted a local law pursuant to section 405.00 of the Penal Law of NY. Albany County has enacted this law. There is still danger involved and precautions needed with legal sparkler devices. Please read below for further information.

• Always follow the directions located on the packaging
• All sparklers are for outdoor use only, never use indoors
• Always wear eye protection when using sparklers
• Never light more than one sparkler at a time
• Never point a sparkler tube towards anyone or any part of your body
• Keep sparklers and novelty devices in a safe secure location when not in use
• Never use sparklers when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Always keep an approved fire extinguisher nearby during a display
• Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
• Douse malfunctioning and spent devices with water before discarding to prevent a fire
• Purchase sparklers and novelty devices from NY State registered retailers

• Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 F
• It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy or use sparklers in NY State
• In 2013 there were 8 deaths and 11,400 reported injuries in the United States related to fireworks. Sparklers accounted for 31% of these injuries. Many of these injuries were to people under the age of 18.
• Sparklers and certain novelty devices are the only consumer fireworks that are legal in certain parts of NY State. Learn more at:

Please follow the law and use common sense so that nobody gets hurt. Happy Fourth of July!