LiveSmart: Celebrate July 4th Safely – Take Caution with Sparklers

As we approach the July 4th holiday, you can’t help but notice the displays while out shopping. Everywhere you turn, it seems like you see sparklers, party-poppers and numerous other ground-based or hand-held “sparkling devices” for sale.

These devices differ from the kind of fireworks that rise into the air, fire inserts, or explode, which remain illegal to possess and use in New York state. However, just because these “sparkling devices” are legal for use in several local communities, it does not mean they are not potentially dangerous for adults and children.

Nationally, sparklers accounted for more than 1,100 of the injuries that required trips to the emergency room in 2021, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That same year, more than 11,500 Americans were injured by personal fireworks, ranging from serious burns, to lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eyes.

As innocuous as they seem, sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt metal, which is exactly where all those pretty colors and sparks come from. Those sparks can catch onto clothing, hair and even spark a fire in your home.

So, before you begin your holiday festivities, consider these safety reminders to protect you and your family:

  • Don’t allow children to handle fireworks/sparklers
  • Keep a bucket of water or a running water hose nearby
  • Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Don’t light more than one firework/sparkler at a time
  • Don’t try to relight or pick up fireworks that haven’t ignited fully
  • Don’t consume alcohol or other substances if using fireworks
  • Use only outdoors on flat, hard surfaces like concrete in clear areas and away from houses, buildings, cars, and dry grass
  • Carry a cell phone in case of fire or if emergency services are needed

Please exercise caution this July 4th if you decide to use sparklers. Have a safe and happy holiday!

When every second counts, St. Peter’s Health Partners has top-quality emergency departments and urgent care centers all across the Capital Region. Our emergency departments in Albany and Troy are open 24 hours, seven days a week, offering a wide range of services for emergency care with highly trained staff, diagnostic testing and access to specialists. The entire team at St. Peter’s Health Partners is here to support you and your family when you need us most.

For more information, visit Think Before You Go – ER or Urgent Care (

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