What you need to know before setting off fireworks in PA this July 4 holiday weekendJuly 4, 2022
Time for fireworks? Celebrate safely with these consumer safety tips
Fireworks can be great for celebrations year-round but they can also be dangerous if they are not used properly.
Damien Henderson, USA TODAY
Fireworks are legal in Pennsylvania. But before you welcome the July 4th holiday with a bang, there are restrictions in place that limit their use.
Both Pennsylvania law and local ordinances regulate who and where residents can set off fireworks. And in fact many of those rules, make it difficult to find spots to launch a display.
Since 2017 Pennsylvanians have been able to legally purchase and use “consumer-grade” or “Class C” fireworks that contain up to 50 milligrams of explosive. Firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets can all be purchased in the state.
However, an online Q&A posted by the Pennsylvania State Police reminds residents that several regulations limit how fireworks are used. Authorities also remind residents they must be 18 to purchase fireworks.
Firework restrictions in PA:
- Cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without the express permission of the property owner.
- Cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building.
- Cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.
- Cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, whether or not a person is actually present.
- Cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug.
Firework injuries have continued to rise around the United States over the past two decades, with reports from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicating that around 15,600 people went to the hospital with firework injuries in 2020, according to a report in the Beaver County Times of USA Today’s Pennsylvania network. The majority of these injuries occur during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, most commonly caused by sparklers and firecrackers.
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In addition to the state law, many municipalities throughout the state also have have passed ordinances that mirror the state law but include added regulations. For instance, in Doylestown Township firework use is limited between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. While in Falls Township larger fireworks displays are allowed only by permit from the fire marshal.
Most ordinances include rules that place a 150-foot distance requirement from occupied structures prevents nearly all firework use. With the restriction, many backyards and other spaces…