Pa. legalized fireworks, but check local laws before you light that fuse

'Understanding what is allowable and not allowable in all cases is your responsibility.'

Jim Melwert
June 29, 2018 - 1:15 pm
Bottle rockets
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COLLEGEVILLE BOROUGH, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — With the Fourth of July right around the corner, fireworks stands are popping up all over. But while small fireworks are now legal in Pennsylvania, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re legal to set off in your town. 

Pennsylvania changed the law last fall to allow what are called "consumer-grade fireworks," such as bottle rockets or Roman candles with some common-sense restrictions. They can’t be set off within 150 feet of an occupied structure, or while the operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski says, while the commonwealth has given the okay, there are still local laws that may ban explosives of any kind. So he recommends fireworks enthusiasts check with their municipality before heading out to stock up.

“You may be subject to additional local ordinances, the types of fireworks the municipality wants to allow, or sometime frames or noise ordinances that you need to be aware of,” Tarkowski said.

One municipality that still bans any explosive, including fireworks, without a permit is Collegeville Borough in Montgomery County. Patrolman Matt Cubbler says they have a zero-tolerance policy.

“Understanding what is allowable and not allowable in all cases is your responsibility," Cubbler said. "Ignorance is not an excuse for violating the law, and it’s as simple as making a call to your local municipality.”

State police say if you’re planning to light fireworks, treat it like driving a car and designate someone to stay sober to handle them.