SOUTH KINGSTOWN — As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Rhode Island.
It is illegal in Rhode Island for non-professional, non-licensed individuals to sell, use or possess display fireworks or aerial consumer fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, mortars or any other device that launches a projectile or makes a detonation noise are also illegal. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.
Items such as ground-based and hand-held sparkling devices are legal for use by the general public. Legal items include fountains, illuminating torches, wheels or spinners, party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes, glow worms, wire sparklers and dipped sticks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018.
The Union Fire District of South Kingstown recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
“Due to COVID-19 safety concerns it was necessary for our annual fireworks display at Old Mountain Field to be cancelled this year. We understand how many people look forward to this event each year,” Chief Pinch said. “While this may disrupt the plans of many residents and visitors, we would like to remind our community members that they should not create or partake in their own fireworks display in the absence of the community’s professional display. The illegal use of fireworks isn’t worth the trip to the emergency room or the destruction of property.”
Residents should always:
- Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
- Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.
- Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.