PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The Houseand Senate have passed a bill that would permit the sale ofsmall fire works in Rhode Island.
The bill is now heading to the governor's desk. Statelawmakers say selling small fireworks could generate roughly amillion dollars each year, but safety officials say it's not worththe risk.
"People are driving across the line to Connecticut now. They'rebringing them back; they're actually committing a criminal offenseby doing that. This law would allow them to purchase here in RhodeIsland,” Pawtucket Rep. Patrick O’Neill.
Non-aerial fireworks like sparklers, pop-its and smoke ballswould be legal. Still fire officials believe even small fireworksare unsafe.
Providence Fire Marshal Anthony Di Giulio said,"A sparkler can reach temperatures of 1200 to 1800 fahrenheit whichcan burn children, clothing."
The fire marshal says there were 7 fireworksrelated deaths in the country last year and 7 thousand injuries,many of those injured, children. The new bill would requireparental supervision for anyone under 16.
"Anything used correctly will be safe and it's something that wecan all enjoy on the fourth of July,” said O’Neill
"The problem is a lot of people don't use common sense. Theymight have had something to drink and are not fully aware ofeverything around them and that's when the dangers can beespecially great," said Di Giulio
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