Pennsylvania Fire Commission Releases Firework Guidelines Ahead of July 4

As the nation gears up to celebrate Independence Day next weekend, the Pennsylvania Fire Commission releases firework safety guidelines.

According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 15,600 firework-related injuries in the U.S. in 2020. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks are responsible for more than 19,500 fires and cause an average of $105 million in direct property damage annually. Acting State Fire Commissioner Charles McGarvey released a list of firework safety precautions to keep people and property safe earlier this week.

“Our message today is clear, fireworks are not toys,” said McGarvey. “While dangerous, we acknowledge that these devices have a lengthy shared history with our nation’s Independence Day celebrations. First and foremost, we want people to understand the risks, how to properly handle fireworks, and to encourage users to be courteous to their neighbors and communities.”

McGarvey gave the following suggestions:

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.

Under state law, Pennsylvanians who are at least 18 years old may purchase and use Class C, otherwise known as consumer-grade fireworks. Certain restrictions apply, including:

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.

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