Kingston, NY –“I encourage Ulster County residents and visitors to enjoy the spectacular public fireworks displays hosted by local municipalities and refrain from illegal firework use,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “At the same time, it is important to raise public awareness about the harm that illegal fireworks inflict on people, family pets, wildlife and the environment. Illegal fireworks account for many injuries seen in hospital emergency departments during the July 4th holiday and pose a danger to everyone.” Free firework displays are being hosted by: Ellenville – July 4th at the Resnick Airport Highland – July 5th at the Town Field Kingston - July 4th on the Rondout New Paltz - July 6th at the Ulster County Fairgrounds with a rain date of July 7 Plattekill – July 13 at Thomas Felten Park with a rain date of July 14 Saugerties - July 6th at Cantine Field Wallkill – July 4th at the Town Golf Course According to the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) fireworks can have a life-altering impact on consumers, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death. In 2012:
- CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices;
- An estimated 8,700 people were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries, with more than 5,000 of them treated on or around July 4th;
- More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face; and
- About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.
According to the Sight and Hearing Association, every year, about 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks. Fireworks contribute to approximately 15,500 fires every year which cause approximately $36 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association.