MINEOLA, NY — As the July 4 fireworks displays approach, emergency physicians are concerned about the growing number of young people setting off illegal explosives.
Trained experts on Long Island say CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan families can be protected by leaving the danger to the professionals.
The Arson and Ordnance Disposal Service placed a seized explosive – an M-80 consumer fireworks – inside a chicken to simulate human flesh. Within seconds, the damage seemed catastrophic.
Nassau County touts its Eisenhower Park fireworks display on July 4 by reminding thousands of visitors to leave explosives to the professionals.
“Keep the public away. Distances, electronics, the pyrotechnician firing this grenade is behind a shelter 100 feet away from where these mortars are firing,” said Phil Grucci, CEO of Grucci’s Fireworks.
Sparklers can cause significant burns, as County Executive Bruce Blakeman showed.
“Six hundred degrees… The sparkler jumps on the clothes and within seconds you are on fire,” he said.
There were near disasters in 2021 when users controlled so-called “dud” explosives.
“Either they blow their face off if they put their face over it because they think it’s already done, or they turn around and blow their hand off or hit someone’s neighbor or a house fire,” Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
dr. Frederick Davis has treated such victims at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
“Most of the things we see are injuries to the hands and, more specifically, to the face,” he said.
“Whether it’s when they explode or when they’ve been tossed and thrown in the garbage next to the house, that’s when we have our problems,” said Nassau Fire Chief Michael Uttaro.
In 2021, 50 people were arrested in Nassau for illegally setting off fireworks after bringing them in from other states or provinces. Offenders face a D-felony.
One mistake could send you and your family to the hospital, or worse.