It's Independence Day Weekend, and many backyard celebrations will include fireworks.

Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and M-80s make loud sounds and create a spectacle.  However, law enforcement officials in New Jersey have a warning.

Virtually all fireworks are considered by the state of New Jersey to be "against the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state," and are therefore prohibited.

New Jersey has some of the strictest laws when it comes to buying, selling, or processing fireworks.

They warn you that just because you see a roadside stand that looks legit, that doesn't mean that what you're buying is legal.

Most fireworks like Roman candles, bottle rockets, and firecrackers are illegal unless you have a special state permit.

All flying fireworks are illegal without a permit.

Also, traveling across state lines to purchase fireworks is illegal.

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Sparklers, those small metal rods that throw off colorful sparks when lit are legal.  We've all seen parents who allow their kids to hold them.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia warns that they see many burn victims.  Those sparklers heat up to 2000 degrees.

Snakes, poppers, glow worms, and smoke devices are permitted.

Any fireworks that contain white or yellow phosphorous are illegal.

Should you choose to shoot off fireworks anyway, there are some safety tips to consider.

Make sure you purchase them from a reputable dealer  (Again, be careful.  Purchasing fireworks from out of state is still illegal.)

Have a bucket of water ready to go, in the event of a fire.

We've been going through a dry period.  Never fire them off near woods.  One spark can lead to disaster.

Never handle fireworks if you don't know what you're doing.  One mistake can change a life forever.

Experts suggest that you take advantage of our region's numerous fireworks shows.  They are overseen by licensed professionals.

The penalty for selling, buying, or possessing fireworks in New Jersey is guilty of a crime of the 4th degree.

Purchasing, igniting, or discharging fireworks is a petty disorderly persons offense.

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