Consumer Fireworks Spark Up PA
By Judy Acosta
“Consumer Fireworks” are defined in part as “any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances intended to produce a visible or audible effect by combustion and is suitable for use by the public” such as firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets. They are also known as 1.4G fireworks. Anyone 18 years of age, and older, may purchase and use consumer-grade fireworks in PA and are not required to obtain a permit from the municipality. However, there are restrictions on where and how consumer fireworks may be used.
Consumer fireworks cannot be…
… ignited or discharged within 150 feet of any occupied structure
… ignited within or discharged into, or thrown from, a motor vehicle or building
… ignited or discharged on public or private property without express permission from the property owner.
…used by a person who is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.
The American Pyrotechnics Association has resources available at www.americanpyro.com. You can also check out this website, www.celebratesafely.org, that promotes fireworks safety.
Since the adoption of House Bill 542 which legalized the use of consumer fireworks in PA, the night skies have been illuminated by more than just stars. While it is all in fun to shoot off a few fireworks there are also great risks. That is why State Law also regulates how the consumer fireworks may be used . Yet many residents ask – who is tasked with enforcing this state law?
State Laws are enforced by the state, i.e., either a local police department or the state police troopers. Municipal code Enforcement Officers cannot enforce state law. At this time, if you have a complaint or concern regarding the use of consumer fireworks in your area we must direct you to the State Police Station in Stroudsburg, 570-619-6480. Ongoing issues or concerns can also be directed to your State Representative, Rosemary Brown, at 570-420-8301.