NJ may require reporting of fireworks-related injuries
Since the sale of fireworks became legal in New Jersey in 2017, there's been no way to track whether the move has resulted in an uptick in related injuries.
A proposed law advanced by a New Jersey Assembly panel on Monday would require that hospitals, health care facilities and medical offices report these injuries to the State Fire Marshal.
"We know it's a problem," Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, told New Jersey 101.5. "I think it's a good idea to have these things reported so we can analyze what's going on and actually try to do something about it."
Under the bipartisan measure, the State Fire Marshal would be required to issue an annual report of fireworks-related injuries, broken down by county, month, and types of fireworks or sparklers that caused the injury.
Caputo said if the statistics show injuries are occurring in certain regions more than others, schools can serve as "a big asset" to educate children in these areas about fireworks safety.
"I think it's very important for law enforcement, for parents, for everybody involved to see this information," Caputo said.
In June 2017, then-Gov. Chris Christie legalized non-aerial, non-exploding fireworks.
"While aerial fireworks are still illegal, it is important to remember that any fireworks are inherently dangerous,” said Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, R-Morris. “They can burn people, animals, and property.”
A current statute requires hospitals and physicians to report injuries caused by firearms and other weapons.