While there are federal laws and regulations for fireworks in the U.S., the laws that govern consumer use of our products are typically on the state and local levels.
In Pennsylvania – State law prohibits the use of Consumer and Display Fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit.
Items defined as “ground and hand-held sparkling devices”, “novelties” and “toy caps” in American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Standard 87-1 are not currently regulated by State Law; therefore, their sale and use are permissible. These “non-fireworks” are the only types allowed to be sold from tents, stands, convenience stores, retail establishments and other various outlets not licensed by the Department of Agriculture..
A permit for a fireworks display must be obtained from the municipality where the display will take place. The municipality is the only governing body with authority to issue this permit under reasonable rules and regulations adopted by them. Upon inspection of the display site by the fire chief, or other designated officer, and the posting of a bond of at least $500 for any possible damages, the municipality may issue a permit to a person they deem competent.
If you are hiring someone to perform the display, that person or corporation must be registered with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. If you are not hiring someone, you can attempt to obtain the status of “competent operator” from the municipality where the display will take place.
Questions concerning display permits should be directed to the appropriate municipality.*
For more information regarding the sale, distribution and use of consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania – including sales to out of state residents, fines and enforcement – follow the links below.