The Falls Township Police Department is helping residents navigate the use of fireworks this coming holiday. Additionally, local state reps. are looking to amend current law regarding fireworks to be more restrictive.
With growing concerns surrounding the fireworks law, it is helpful to be reminded of the protocol when using highly explosive material. Posts on the Falls Township Police Facebook page warn about the dangers of fireworks, but have some information how to handle them if lighting them on your own.
“Each year, fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries,” the department posted on Facebook.
Here are some guidelines directly from the Falls Township Police:
- Fireworks can not be set off within 150 feet of any occupied structure (pretty much all of Falls Township). Fireworks are also prohibited on public property such as parks, school grounds, etc. unless use permits are issued ahead of time.
- No fireworks may be purchased, possessed, used, or stored by any person under 18 years of age.
- No fireworks or pyrotechnic device shall be discharged within, out of, or toward any vehicle or building, or directed at any person.
- No fireworks or pyrotechnic device shall be used by any person under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or other drugs.
After a law passed in 2017, the legal sale and use of things like firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, have become more common. But ever since this law was passed, some PA lawmakers have had complaints nearly year round.
In response to these complaints, State Reps. Frank Farry and Gene DiGirolamo have co-introduced H.B. 1687 to help assist Pennsylvania communities to combat the problems that fireworks can cause.
“Both of our offices have received many complaints about fireworks activity from residents, especially seniors, veterans, parents with small children, and people with pets,” DiGirolamo said in a weekly newsletter.
This bill would include guidelines to help communities maintain reasonable control of the sale and use of fireworks in their township. It would also mandate informing consumers of the guidelines and use when purchased, and bigger penalties for those who violate the consumer fireworks act.
But since the legislation does not yet apply, people should follow current law. Most importantly, everyone should celebrate Independence Day safely this year.