PHOTO: Sky Lantern relies on open flame for lift.
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – As the community gets ready for a long July 4th weekend, the Middletown Police Department and Township Fire Official reminds all township residents and store owners that the possession, sale and use of fireworks and sky lanterns is unlawful.
New Jersey’s Laws on Fireworks, N.J.S.A. 21:2-1 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 21:3-1 et seq., are very restrictive. In New Jersey, only paper or plastic caps for use in toy guns are legal. Fireworks such as firecrackers, roman candles, rockets are all illegal in New Jersey as well as sparklers and novelty items, such as cigarette loads, trick matches, trick noise makers, smoke grenades, toy propellants, snaps & pops, poppetts and champagne poppers.
Sky lanterns, also known as wish lanterns, are airborne paper lanterns that are constructed of oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern causing it to rise into the air. The lanterns are known to travel great distance and are considered to be a fire hazard under N.J.A.C 5:70-3, 308.3.2. They can land on buildings, trees and cause fires.
Residents with information concerning the use or sale of fireworks and sky lanterns are encouraged to report them to the Middletown Township Police Department 732-615-2100. Any person found using fireworks illegally can be fined up to $500 and/or imprisoned for up to 30 days. The law further states that the sale or possession of fireworks, with intent to sell, is a crime of the fourth degree. Any person found guilty of possessing fireworks, including sparklers, with the intention of selling them, can be fined up to $7,500 and/or imprisoned up to 18 months.
Stay safe this on July 4th this year and every year. Please teach children about the law and hazards regarding fireworks. Questions regarding fireworks and sky lanterns can be directed to the Fire Official at 732-615-2270.