July 4th is rapidly approaching. The information contained in this article will answer questions about Fireworks and the law changes included in House Bill 542 that was signed into law on October 30, 2017 by Governor Tom Wolf.
Fireworks Frequently Asked Questions
House Bill 542 was signed into law on October 30, 2017. Under the new law, the Fireworks Act of 1939 was repealed and replaced in its entirety. The complete version of the new law can be viewed on the link at the end of this article. However, the questions and answers below highlight the most noteworthy changes.
Q: Which fireworks are Pennsylvania residents now allowed to purchase and use?
Consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman Candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. The expansion includes those fireworks that were previously only available to out-of-state residents.
“Display fireworks,” which are classified as including salutes that contain more than two grains or 130 milligrams of explosive materials, and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions, are still only to be used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.
Q: Who can purchase fireworks?
Anyone 18 years of age or older can purchase them.
Q: What are the restrictions on where they can be used?
- They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner.
- They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building.
- They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.
- They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
- They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.
Also, it is recommended that you check with your local municipality, as you may also be subject to applicable local ordinances.
Q: Where can the fireworks be purchased?
They can be purchased at any licensed facility, including temporary ones. The licenses are issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Examples of temporary facilities include tents or other structures found in parking lots. These temporary structures can sell fireworks between the dates of June 15-July 8, and December 21-January 2 each year.
East Earl Township Police Department
Chief Kevin C. McCarthy, Sr.
**Reprinted from the Pennsylvania State Police Website: https://www.psp.pa.gov/public-safety/Pages/fireworks-safety.aspx