The Fourth of July holiday is cause for festivity and pride. Backyard barbeques, family gatherings as well as professional fireworks displays will be taking place throughout Monmouth County to mark the great occasion. During this celebration, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is warning people that fireworks are dangerous, illegal and should only be handled by the professionals.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms from fireworks- related injuries.

“The result of fireworks being handled in the wrong way can cause serious injuries,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “It’s important to know that the danger is not only limited to general Fourth of July fireworks and that even sparklers should be kept away from children, as they can easily cause harm.”

In 2012, during the weeks preceding and after the Fourth of July holiday, the Monmouth County 9-1-1 Communications Center received 15 emergency calls related to fireworks. For 2011, during that time period, there were 20 related emergency calls.

“It’s our intent to have that number decrease even more this year by sending the message out to stay clear of fireworks,” said Sheriff Golden. “Let the professionals handle the fireworks and celebrate America responsibly and safe.”
New Jersey Criminal Code Title 21:2-6 states: “It shall be unlawful to manufacture, sell transport or use dangerous fireworks within the state.” Dangerous fireworks are defined in Title 21:2-3 as:

  • Toy torpedoes containing more than 5 grains of an explosive composition.
  • Paper caps containing more than .35 grains of explosive composition.
  • Firecrackers or salutes exceeding 5 inches in length or ¾ inch in diameter
  • Cannons, canes, pistols or other devices for use otherwise than with paper caps
  • Any fireworks containing a compound of yellow or white phosphorous and mercury
  • Any fireworks that contain a detonator or blasting cap
  • Fireworks compositions that ignite spontaneously or undergo marked decomposition when subjected for 48 consecutive hours to a temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fireworks that can be exploded en masse by a blasting cap placed in one of the units
  • Fireworks such as sparklers or fuses, containing a match tip or head, or similar igniting point or surface, unless each individual tip, head or igniting point or surface is thoroughly covered and securely protected from accidental contact or friction with any other surface
  • Fireworks containing an ammonium salt and a chlorate