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 Under the new law, the Fireworks Act of 1939 was repealed and replaced in its entirety. 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, 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.
Q: Where can the fireworks be purchased?
Airborne fireworks, including Roman candles and bottle rockets may only be purchased at brick-and-mortar stores. A list of retailers can be found in this mapOpens In A New Window.
Other Links of Interest:
U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: Federal Explosive and Firework regulationsOpens In A New Window
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission - Safety and Federal Regulations: Fireworks Business GuidanceOpens In A New Window and Fireworks Enforcement Activities Annual ReportOpens In A New Window
American Pyrotechnic Association (APA): Directory of State Laws and other Industry Information Opens In A New Window