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Are fireworks part of your plans for the 4thHopefully those plans call for watching a professional fireworks display because owning and setting off fireworks in New York State is illegal.

The National Fire Protection Association says in 2011, fireworks caused almost 18,000 fires nationwide leading to eight deaths, 40 injuries and $32 million in property damage. The risk for injury is 2 ½ times as high for children aged 10 to 14 than the general population.

City of Batavia Fire Chief Jim Maxwell says that since he’s been the chief at the station, there has not been an increase in fireworks injuries or incidents. That doesn’t meant that residents shouldn’t still try to be as safe as possible this Fourth of July Holiday.

The City-sanctioned firework display and Independence Day celebration will be at the Muckdogs’ game tomorrow, but he understands people will be celebrating on their own on the 4th.

“Where I live, my neighbors shot off fireworks, it’s just something that people do," Maxwell said. “Where they get them? I know they don’t get them in New York State so they travel to Ohio or Pennsylvania.”

Maxwell says one thing to be aware of is having sparklers around kids. They are not innocuous because they burn around 1,400 to 1,500 degrees.

Setting off fireworks is particularly dangerous in the City of Batavia because houses are so close together; but if people do choose to have their own firework display, safety is paramount.

“Just be safe and follow the manufacturers instructions as far as use," Maxwell said. "Don’t hold them in your hands, don’t throw them at people, and don’t use them in a confined area.”

“Have a good time and be safe. We don’t want their festivities to be an incident for us.”

Also, Maxwell says to keep pets inside. Their hearing is a lot more sensitive than humans.

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