NORWALK, Conn. -- Fairfield County public safety officials are asking residents to be safe this Fourth of July weekend.
Each year, nationwide there are 10,000 injuries, three deaths and 25,000 fires due to illegal fireworks, according to the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association. The only fireworks permitted by law in Connecticut are sparklers and fountains. Illegal fireworks include bottle rockets, Chinese lanterns, firecrackers, black cats, lady fingers, roman candles, smoke bombs, party poppers, snakes, professional display aerial shells shot from mortar tubes, M-80s, M-100s, cherry bombs, blockbusters, quarter sticks and similar devices.
"Fire chiefs and fire marshals along with law enforcement and others in the public safety community urge you to enjoy your 4th of July season by taking your friends and families to a legal, licensed and permitted public fireworks display -- and leave it to the professionals," the Connecticut Police Chiefs said in a statement. "It's safer, it's legal and it's a lot more fun."
The Norwalk Fire Department is also warning residents to only use legal fireworks, and to always read and follow directions, have an adult present and keep water nearby when using fireworks.
When grilling this weekend, you should never operate grills on combustible balconies and decks, inside garages or carports, or within 10 feet of a structure, the Norwalk Fire Department said. Grills should be set up in an open area away from low-hanging tree limbs, dry leaves and brush. You should always check propane tanks for leaks and make sure nobody is playing near where you will be grilling.
Make sure to purchase the proper starting fluid if you are using a charcoal grill, and if you must dispose of the ashes before they are fully cooled, soak them in water before putting them in a non-combustible container.
With temperatures expected to be in the low 80s this weekend, the Norwalk Fire Department is advising residents to exercise proper heat safety.
"Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day, and stay inside an air-conditioned building if possible," the Norwalk Fire Department said in a statement. "Supervise children. Children rely on adults to tell them when to come inside, when to drink water and what sort of clothing to wear. It doesn't take long for a child's small body to become overheated."