On June 16, the Hartford Courant reported a rise in fireworks complaints across the state. According to Hartford police Lt. Paul Cicero, the complaints started coming in as early as late April. The problem is serious enough that the heads of the city police and fire departments have been meeting to strategize on how to crack down on fireworks scofflaws.
Often the fireworks have been going off in the middle of the night, and sometimes night after night. Police departments and town officials are turning to social media to urge residents to stay away from illegal fireworks and to report any disturbances to the police.
“Every night?” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart asked on Facebook. “Why?” Calling the nightly displays “a big problem,” she implored residents to call the police with the address, and officers will pay violators a visit.
In Manchester, fireworks complaints increased from three in the first half of June last year to 79 in the same period this year police spokesman Lt. Ryan Shea said. It’s often difficult to figure out the source of the fireworks, but police take the complaints seriously and ask that anyone who knows where illegal fireworks are being launched from, or the identity of those possessing illegal fireworks, call the police.
Cicero said more people might be buying their own fireworks because many town fireworks have been canceled. But if the complaints started in late April, perhaps it also has to do with being cooped up at home for so long and feeling the need to blow off steam.
In addition to disturbing children, pets and people with post-traumatic stress disorder, illegal fireworks are dangerous. A teenager in the Hartford area lost two fingers after he picked up homemade fireworks in 2018. The hot debris caused by aerial and explosive fireworks can land anywhere causing injuries and fires.
Fireworks are not allowed by law in Connecticut for use by non-professional, non-licensed users.
Only sparklers and fountains that are non-explosive and non-aerial are legal in the state, and one must be 16 or older to purchase them.
For usage complaints, contact your local police department.