A Letter from Fire Chief Doire: How to Have a Safe and Fun Independence Day

A message from Fire Chief Ron Doire including what residents can do with unused fireworks.


Middletown Residents,

The would like to wish all our residents and visitors a Happy and Safe July 4th Independence Day.

I ask that all our residents and visitors use only legal consumer fireworks and that they follow the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety recommendations (below) along with any cautions listed on fireworks packaging.

The Middletown Fire Department will now accept any consumer fireworks that failed to light or completely discharge, or consumer fireworks that residents would rather not leave in their homes unused.

Please feel free to drop off fireworks at the Middletown fire station located at 239 Wyatt Road anytime between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM (we will continue to accept consumer fireworks throughout the year).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends following these safety steps:

  • Don't allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could be dangerous to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from
  • a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • We would also like to help prevent any accidental fires and injuries that may be caused by
  • the improper use of fireworks by sharing some important information from The National Fire
  • Protection Association (NFPA).

Facts and Figures from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

  • In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Don’t let your celebration of our Nations Independence lead to a burn injury or accidental fire. Be safe and enjoy Independence Holiday.

Any fire safety questions can be directed to Fire Chief Ron Doire or the Office of Fire Prevention at rdoire@middletownri.com.

Kristin W July 05, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I'd really like to know how it can be legal to discharge flying rockets with airborne burning embers in a tightly packed residential area!


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