State Fire Commissioner Issues Reminder on Fireworks Safety, Laws
Pennsylvania's Acting State Fire Commissioner and the Burn Prevention Network (BPN) are reminding the public about fireworks safety and laws ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
Safety tips include:
- Never allow children to play with fireworks, even sparklers, which can burn at temperatures of at least 1200 degrees.
- Only allow adults to light fireworks one at a time, then quickly back away.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of a fire.
- Never pick up or try to relight fireworks that have not fully ignited.
- After the fireworks have burned, fully douse them with water before picking them up or disposing to prevent trash fires.
- Never use fireworks after consuming alcohol, or other medications or substances that can impair judgment or the ability to react quickly to an emergency.
- Whether attending a professional display, or using consumer fireworks, always remain at a safe distance from the ignition location.
- Be sensitive of neighbors and their pets, particularly if military veterans live nearby.
In 2020, fireworks were involved with an estimated 15,600 injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Approximately half of the injuries reported were burns, with the head, eyes, face, or ears being the most frequently impacted part of the body.
Pennsylvanians who are at least 18 years old may purchase and use consumer-grade fireworks.
However, anyone who lights off fireworks must follow these regulations:
- They cannot be ignited or discharged on public or private property without the express permission of the property owner.
- They cannot be discharged from 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
Local municipalities can also impose their own regulations on fireworks, which must also be followed.