State, local emergency service officials offer friendly safety tips for the Fourth of July holiday

The Fourth of July Holiday brings together friends and family for barbeques, camping and fireworks. The Division of Fire Safety and your local emergency service personnel want everyone to have a safe holiday season by following a few seasonal safety tips.


Nationally, the 4th of July holiday is when emergency services experience a large spike in firework related injuries.

In Vermont, it is illegal to purchase, possess, transport, store or discharge fireworks without first obtaining a local permit from your municipality. Novelty type devices such as sparklers, snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke devices, string poppers, snappers, or drop pop with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture can be purchased without a permit but should only be used by children under close adult supervision. Nationally, the 4th of July holiday is when emergency services experience a large spike in firework related injuries.

Some towns in Vermont will not authorize the use of consumer grade fireworks due to close proximity to houses and other important structures. Local fire and police chiefs often review applications ensuring the proposed display is safe and operated by a competent person. Only after the permit has been granted, can you legally purchase, possess, transport, store and discharge consumer grade fireworks. Fireworks can be unpredictable and are capable of devastating and fatal injuries if not properly handled and stored.

We encourage everyone to enjoy fireworks at a public display. Public displays are conducted by trained professionals and are operated under controlled settings and regulations.

Even legal sparklers and smoke devices can be dangerous, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause severe third-degree burns.

Consumers who decide to use legal sparklers and smoke devices in Vermont are urged to take these safety steps:

• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children often suffer injuries from sparklers.
• Always have an adult closely supervise activities.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

For additional information contact your local fire department or the Vermont Division of Fire Safety at

Image courtesy of TNR