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repealed and replaced in its entirety.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 here.
However, the questions and answers below highlight the most noteworthy changes.
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.
Who can purchase fireworks?
Anyone 18 years of age or
older can purchase them.
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, whether or not a person is actually present.
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.
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. Click here for
more information on Department of Agriculture licensing.
Other Links of Interest:
U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – Federal Explosive and Firework regulations
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission - Safety and Federal Regulations
Fireworks Business Guidance
Fireworks Enforcement Activities Annual Report
American Pyrotechnic Association (APA) - Directory of State Laws and other Industry Information