FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY AND FIRE COMMISSIONER CASSANO WARN NEW YORKERS OF DANGERS OF ILLEGAL FIREWORKS
Also Encourage New Yorkers to Watch Safe and Free Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Show
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano today warned New Yorkers of the consequences of transporting, buying, selling or using fireworks. In New York City, all consumer fireworks are illegal and individuals caught buying, selling or using fireworks will be arrested. This year, the Police Department’s Vice Enforcement Division and the Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Investigation have confiscated over 900 cases of illegal fireworks. The Mayor and the Commissioners were joined by Robin Hall, executive producer of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. The Mayor encouraged New Yorkers to view the safe, free and spectacular Macy’s display, the nation's largest, which begins at 9:00 PM on Sunday.
“I want to wish everyone a very happy Independence Day holiday: one spent having a good time, and not spent in a hospital emergency room, or in police custody,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “So don’t buy, transport, or set off fireworks. New Yorkers should take in the incredible fireworks show put on by Macy’s, once again held on the Hudson River.”
“Overall seizures are down significantly, about 50% compared with this time last year,” said Police Commissioner Kelly. “We think this is a good sign - for the last several years we have been confiscating fireworks, seizing the vehicles of those transporting them, and making arrests. We encourage everyone to celebrate safely, and have a happy 4th of July.”
“Fifteen years ago, when we began vigorous enforcement to stop the flow of fireworks into New York City, the Fourth of July was one of the busiest days on our calendar,” said Fire Commissioner Cassano. “Today, fires and injuries from fireworks are among the lowest on record. Thanks to hard work by our Fire Marshals, working with other agencies, and the dedication of our Fire Safety Education Unit, the Fourth of July is a safe holiday for more than 8 million New Yorkers, along with all those who visit our city to celebrate.”
Last year there were no fireworks injuries requiring hospitalization. So far this year, there have not been any serious fireworks-related injuries.
The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are the nation’s largest display of pyrotechnics on Independence Day, and use 55 times more fireworks than the average show in the United States. This year, the show will be over the Hudson River and may be viewed from any area with an unobstructed view of the sky above the river. Please note that there is very limited viewing north of 59th Street on the west side.
In 2005, Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation to increase penalties for discharging illegal fireworks. Working with the City Council and bill sponsor Council Member James Oddo, the City created a $750 civil penalty for the use of illegal fireworks in addition to the already existing criminal penalty of $250 for the use or discharge of fireworks without a permit.
Fireworks burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin. Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, when in fact they can be very dangerous. Fireworks should only be handled by trained professionals. To report illegal fireworks activity, call 311.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Brown (Police) (212) 788-0260
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire) (718) 999-2056
Elina Kazan (Macy’s) (212) 494-4624
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