“Go someplace where you’re going to be safe.” Experts go over fireworks safety

The Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Department showed News 12 today the difference between legal and illegal backyard pyrotechnics.
Each year, more than two dozen people are seriously injured by legal fireworks in Ocean County alone.  
In just a few seconds, a shirt caught fire when placed near legal sparkler type fireworks. Some may see the demonstration as an exaggeration of what not to do, yet, “Every year we see extensive bodily injury and extensive property damage,” says Ocean County Deputy Fire Marshal Zachary Sharp.
Legal fireworks in New Jersey are all variations of sparklers. Illegal fireworks shoot into the air, creating the potential for more hazards, more powerful explosions and debris raining down in crowded neighborhoods and rural woods.  
“We respond to many structural fires and wildfires caused by improper use and disposal of illegal fireworks,” says Sharp.
Sharp says on average in Ocean County, 25 people are seriously injured, and crews respond to around the same number of fires, all caused by fireworks, every year.  
“People are consuming alcohol and having fun and not truly being cognizant of what is going on,” says Sharp.
And not paying attention to the warning labels. Commissioner Gary Quinn wants families to enjoy the many professional displays found in Ocean County this weekend, rather than try to create their own backyard thrills.  
“Go someplace where you’re going to be safe,” says Sharp. “Bring your children, the kids will enjoy it; it’s a great opportunity to really kick off the summer season.”