Q & A Column - June 16, 2008
QUESTION: I know fireworks can be dangerous and that certain types are illegal in Pennsylvania. Could you give me some more information on this since I will likely be hosting an Independence Day party?
ANSWER: Fireworks can evoke patriotic feelings, light up the sky and bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike. However, some fireworks can pose serious safety hazards if not handled properly.
This is why many fireworks are illegal in Pennsylvania. Laws can differ from location to location, but generally “consumer fireworks” are legal in Pennsylvania. These types of fireworks include sparklers, fountains, wheels and other novelty items. However, larger devices such as bottle rockets, roman candles, missiles, display shells and other aerial items do require a state or local permit.
For legal fireworks there are a few tips you can follow to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials.
Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
If you have any questions about what items you would like to use during your party, your local fire department would be a great place to start.
Every year, more than 60 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur during the Fourth of July holiday. The Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department both encourage Pennsylvanians to leave the fireworks to the professionals.
As always, if you have any questions about this or another state government-related issue, please feel free to contact one of my district offices. We are here to help in any way we can.
If you have a question you would like me to address in an upcoming column, please send it to:
Rep. Curt Sonney
Room 149-B East Wing
P.O. Box 202004
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2004
Rep. Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
COLUMN FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2008