Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol would like to remind all residents that while “sparkling devices” are legal over the July 4th period, most types of fireworks are still illegal and residents should avoid buying, or using illegal ones.

Law enforcement agencies across the County have seen a “significant increase” in the number of fireworks-related complaints over the past several weeks, especially at night. Most of these complaints involved the types of fireworks that are illegal, which is any type of firework that lit from the bottom and produces explosion sounds, usually either rising into the air and exploding or projecting into the air.

-Examples of illegal fireworks include firecrackers, M80s, flaming balls, bottle rockets, mortars, spinners, and roman candles.

New York State and County laws allow only “sparkling devices,” these include ground-based fireworks and handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks or colored flame, like traditional sparklers. The law limits the type, size, and construction of these sparkling devices, and requires that they be hand held or mounted on a base or spike in the ground. The size must be within 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition.

Anyone who wishes to file a complaint about illegal fireworks in their neighborhood is asked to call the non-emergency phone line for their local law enforcement agency. The non-emergency line for the Sheriff’s Office is 315-736-0141.

Fireworks can be a fun activity to watch with family and friends, but they can also be dangerous if not used correctly. According to the National Safety Council, fireworks used inappropriately may cause burns to hands, fingers, ears, and eyes, in addition to starting large fires. Even smaller fireworks like sparklers or firecrackers get so hot they can melt metal. This holiday season consider using safer alternatives like glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.

The Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind everyone that additional resources will be assigned to our Marine Patrols and Road Patrols throughout the holiday weekend to insure everyone’s safety on our waterways and roadways.