Fireworks are fun but remember the laws

July 4 – With fireworks celebrations all over the tri-state area in the next few days, a lot of people are anticipating the fun and good times with the 4th of July.

But it’s important to remember the safety laws put in place by the state of Pennsylvania.

Corporal Richard Sleichter of the Chambersburg Police Department joined First News earlier in the week to talk about the upcoming celebrations.

Sleichter said “The conditions and prohibitions are laid out pretty plainly in the Pennsylvania law which was updated back in 2017.”

People must be at least 18 years old to purchase, possess and use fireworks.

You have to have permission to use the property for fireworks where you’re setting them off.

You cannot throw any sparkling device from a vehicle or towards a vehicle.

You cannot use any type of fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.

Consumer fireworks cannot be set off within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

“That’s the biggest thing we run into because in the borough it’s tight and there’s a lot of houses,” Sleichter said. “It’s very few places where you have that stand off distance where you can legally set off these fireworks.”

If you see something in your neighborhood that you believe violates the above mentioned rules, call the non-emergency number in Chambersburg at 717-263-1611.

The Franklin County Communications Center will get the information and dispatch an officer to the scene.

Sleichter reminded listeners, “A lot of times these are difficult to find the offenders because many times they set a few off and clean up by the time we get there. But if we don’t know about it we don’t even have the chance to confront these people. So call us if this is going on.”

Remember many fireworks are legal, like Roman candles and sparklers. The law is mainly talking about aerial fireworks.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll added, “We see cases every year where people do get cited for violating local ordinances related to (fireworks). The town displays have a permit and that’s all perfectly legitimate. Always be careful. You can bet come Monday morning there will be news stories about people who got injured that were mishandling fireworks. It happens every year and it’s very unfortunate.”

4th of July celebrations are a lot of fun. Just make sure yours is safe and legal.