An all-time favorite activity associated with the Fourth of July, is watching fireworks with our friends and families. Until recently, the personal use of fireworks was prohibited in the State of New York. However, in 2014 Governor Cuomo signed a bill legalizing personal use of certain types of fireworks in certain counties outside of New York City. These counties include Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster. As a result of the bill, New York Penal Law §270.00 was amended to permit the use of “sparking devices,” fireworks that are ground-based or hand-held. Bottle rockets and fireworks that fly are prohibited. According to the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, there are an average of 230 firework related injuries near and on the Fourth of July. The injuries are primarily burns to the head, face, hands, fingers, eyes and ears. To help protect you and your family from fireworks injuries, visit New York Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ website for safety tips in using sparklers.