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Officials stress fireworks safety ahead of July Fourth

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STAMFORD -

Communities across western Connecticut are preparing for their celebrations with Fourth of July weekend upon us, and fire officials just want to make sure they do so it safely.

The National Fire Protection Association says fireworks are to blame for close to half of all reported fires on Independence Day.

Officials say to make sure you know what is legal and what is not if you're shooting fireworks off.

All fireworks in Connecticut are illegal with the exception of fountains and sparklers. This means all aerial, rocket-type fireworks are off-limits. Someone can be given a misdemeanor or even felony summons if they are caught using one.

Officials say you must be 16 or older to use legal fireworks but they want to stress legal doesn't always mean safe. Sparklers can burn up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Officials also say to make sure people use them as far away from children and any property.

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