Fireworks Law and local ordinances

With the 4th of July Holiday fast approaching, so does the increase of the use of commercial fireworks. In 2017 the Pennsylvania legislature passed ACT 43 which allowed the purchase of “Consumer Fireworks” by the public. Many people feel that since they are “Legal” to buy, they are “Legal” to use at their discretion. The act generally limits the use of these fireworks, however many do not understand the dangers these fireworks pose. Most municipalities have passed their own regulations, which are more strict than the state law.  Each year many adults and children are seriously injured or burned by careless use of fireworks. Many fires are started and the noise frightens pets and other domestic animals, as well as disturbing people in the surrounding area. We urge you to check with your local municipalities to be sure you are in compliance prior to buying and using fireworks. See below for local ordinance information.  Please enjoy the summer holidays safely. 

Fireworks FAQ

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 Under the new law, the Fireworks Act of 1939 was repealed and replaced in its entirety.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.  (see below for 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.

New Freedom Borough Fireworks Ordinance

Shrewsbury Borough Fireworks Ordinance

Glen Rock Borough Fireworks Ordinance

Ordinance prohibits any noise or other disturbance that occurs continuously or intermittently for an extended period, which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, including:

The use of consumer fireworks (as that term is defined by applicable state law) and other fireworks or pyrotechnics after 10pm and before 7am.

Stewartstown Borough Ordinance for noise / fireworks

Reference for state laws in above link