In 2017 Pennsylvania fireworks laws were amended to allow the purchase and use of “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar aerial fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. The law contains the following conditions and prohibitions which are summary violations:
72 PS § 9404. USE OF CONSUMER FIREWORKS
(a) Conditions—A person who is at least 18 years of age and meets the requirements of this article may purchase, possess and use consumer fireworks.
(b) Prohibitions—A person may not intentionally ignite or discharge:
(1) Consumer fireworks on public or private property without the express permission of the owner.
(2) Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices within, or throw consumer fireworks or sparkling devices from, a motor vehicle or building.
(3) Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices into or at a motor vehicle or building or at another person.
(4) Consumer fireworks or sparkling devices while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug.
(5) Consumer fireworks within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
Definition of an occupied structure is a structure, vehicle or place adapted for overnight accommodation of persons or for conducting business whether or not a person is actually present.
Consumer fireworks are typically packaged for sale in bright colored packages and labeled as “consumer fireworks” or 1.4G fireworks.
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES (tents/stands)
Consumer Fireworks are now allowed to be sold in a temporary structure if:
- Entity has a minimum of $2,000,000 in public and product liability insurance.
- Entity pays an application fee of $1,000 and license fee of $3,000 per year to the PA Department of Agriculture.
- Selling period is limited to June 15th through July 8th and December 21st through January 2nd of each year.
- Structure is no closer than 250 feet from a facility storing, selling or dispensing gasoline, propane or other flammable products.
- An evacuation plan is posted.
- All excess product storage is stored in an outdoor storage unit separated from the sales structure by appropriate rated fire separation.
- Is located at least five miles from a permanent fireworks sales facility.
- It does not exceed 2,500 square feet in sales space.
- It is secured at all times during which fireworks are in the structure.
- A separation of at least 1,500 feet shall separate facilities that sell consumer fireworks.
- It complies with NFPA Code 1124 as it relates to retail sales.
- Limited to selling Helicopters/Aerial Spinners, Roman Candles, Mines/Shell Devices and Novelties. Brick and mortar facilities may retail Missiles, Firecrackers, Rockets and Chasers.
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 legally permitted to be purchased and used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place. Display fireworks are typically packaged in brown wrappers and labeled as “Display” or 1.3G fireworks.
ILLEGAL EXPLOSIVE DEVICES
Federally illegal explosive devices, commonly referred to as M-80’s, M-100’s, quarter-sticks, half-sticks, etc. are illegal to manufacture, sell, possess or use.
- Using Consumer Fireworks in violation of this Act - Summary offense and fine of not more than $100
- Selling Consumer Fireworks in violation of this Act - A misdemeanor of the 2nd degree and confiscation of stock
- Selling Display Fireworks in violation of this Act - A felony of the 3rd degree and confiscation of stock
- Selling Forbidden Explosives in violation of this Act - A felony of the 3rd degree and confiscation of stock
Please follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
- Always purchase your fireworks from reliable, licensed fireworks dealers.
- Use in a clear, open area. Keep audience a safe distance away from the shooting site.
- Safety glasses are recommended for those individuals lighting the fireworks or those in close proximity to the fireworks.
- Do not alter any fireworks device or make your own fireworks.
- Light only one firework item at a time.
- Never attempt to re-light, alter or fix any "dud" firework item.
- Have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during strong wind conditions and light fireworks with prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators.
- Never smoke when handling fireworks.
- Do not drink alcohol when handling fireworks.
- Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Use fireworks outdoors, never indoors.
Should you come across a situation involving the use of illegal fireworks, legal fireworks being used illegally, or if you find fireworks or devices that need to be removed and disposed of, please contact the Palmyra Police Department at 717-838-8189
Click here for a copy of the Borough's Fireworks Ordinance.