By Sheila Drewen-Mayer, Pa.C.P., Paralegal-
“Cause Baby You’re a Firework; Come on Let your Colors Burst!” Katy Perry’s Firework’s song may have been released in 2010 but the hot news recently was made by Pennsylvania’s House Bill 542. Under the October 30, 2017 law, Consumers can now purchase and use Class C aka consumer-grade fireworks that include firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, and fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. At the stores, you should expect to show your driver’s license and sign a form acknowledging that you will abide by the local fireworks laws.
The $5,000 store license fees, and, a 12 percent tax on the new fireworks are said to generate money as grants for emergency medical services and volunteer fire departments. You guessed it, with an increase in firepower comes an increase in injuries and fires. Not considered to be consumer-grade fireworks, but known as dangerous explosives are the devices, such as M-80s, M-100s, cherry bombs and quarter sticks that are still outlawed in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania State Police expect you to be aware of the following rules and restrictions:
- Anyone 18 years of age or older can purchase fireworks;
- Fireworks cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner;
- A firework cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building;
- Fireworks cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building;
- They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure;
- They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another drug; and
- It is recommended that you check with your local municipality as you may also be subject to applicable local ordinances.