Ground-based sparklers, party poppers and snappers may now be legal in the Garden State but that doesn't mean safety goes out the window this summer.


Dr. Robert Sweeney, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, says unless you're a professional you should avoid shooting off dangerous fireworks for your own safety.

"Every year there are accidents where people light something intending to throw it, the fuse gets short and it blows up in their hand," said Sweeney. "It can do a lot of damage to your hand. Some of these things have a lot of explosive capability."

Regardless of what kind of legal firework or sparkler you'd like to see light up the sky this summer, the pro's are the better option but if you choose to shoot them off first.

"A lot of times when people are using these things, particularly sparklers or firecrackers, they tend to get too close to them and then you get sparks or fragments floating up and hitting you in the eye or the face," said Sweeney.

He urges you to leave the shooting of fireworks to the professionals for your own safety, but again if you are out there doing it yourself, keep the fireworks away from children and be cautious in your approach.

"Most adults have the sense to not reach in and touch anything they believe will still be hot," said Sweeney. "Sometimes after those things stop glowing they're still hot for several minutes and little guys may not think twice and reaching in and trying to grab one."

Sweeney says accidents can happen at any time in these instances so in addition to proceeding with caution and being safe, he says you should also be sober.

"Sometimes people are doing this when they're drinking," said Sweeney. "Having some alcohol around the barbecue....sort of not paying attention...and everyone really believes nothing will happen to them."

After his own fireworks accident in the summer of 2015, New York Giants Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul has recovered and had a spectacular comeback season of his own in 2016 for Big Blue.

He even has made it a mission of his to follow directions that Dr. Sweeney just explained in this article on firework safety and leaving it to the pro's.

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Sweeney says Pierre-Paul may be the exception and not the rule in regards to having the money and "wherewithal" to make that kind of recovery.

While anything is possible for someone not named Jason Pierre-Paul, it's better not to play roulette with your's or someone else's safety.

"When you think about it...most people throw something with their dominate hand," said Sweeney. "If something blows up in your hand you can have a lifetime of disabilities in your hand after an injury like that or if something blows up and strikes you in the eye you can have a lifetime of disabilities of blindness from these things."

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