EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – With most Eastchester residents celebrating Independence Day starting Tuesday, police warn they actively will be looking for firework violators in town.
Eastchester Police Lt. Jeff Hunter said the department will have extra patrols in the area, as they look to ensure the safety of all residents.
“We get a lot of complaints this time of year,” he said. “Officers will be using their discretion and actively issuing summonses or make arrests of those who are possessing, igniting or providing fireworks.”
Possession of fireworks is a violation of the law, while selling or providing a person under the age of 18 with fireworks is a class A misdemeanor. Any person who offers to sell or furnish more than $500 worth of fireworks to someone also is committing a class A misdemeanor.
Hunter said even sparklers, a firework popular with youth around the country, are illegal. They can burn as high as 1,800-3,000 degrees.
“Our biggest focus is on safety. Even sparklers are more than sufficient to ignite clothing or badly burn skin,” he said. “Most injuries by fireworks tend to be to the eyes, head, hands and fingers.”
In 2011, an average of 200 people went to the emergency room every day in the month surrounding the July 4 holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. New York is one of four states to completely ban fireworks.
Fireworks will not be the only thing the Eastchester Police Department is loking out for this week; they also will be looking for intoxicated drivers.
“We will be out in force. We’ve added personnel on the road and we will have auxiliary units helping [Tuesday night] and Wednesday,” Hunter said. “This holiday can be busy with complaints between noise and things landing on homes. They’ll serve as peace officers out to assist us if we’re busy.”