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With 4th of July celebrations less than a week away, residents are being reminded that, despite recent changes in the law, fireworks are still dangerous and account for numerous injuries and property damage each year around the country.
House Bill 542, which was signed into law on October 30, 2017, now permits consumers to purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman Candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. The expansion includes those fireworks that were previously only available to out-of-state residents. “Display fireworks,” which are classified as including salutes that contain more than two grains or 130 milligrams of explosive materials, and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions, are still only to be used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.
According to the Insurance Journal , the Consumer Products Safety Commission staff has reports of 114 fireworks-related deaths between 2001 and 2016, for an average of 7.1 deaths per year. Even New York Giants professional football player Jason Pierre-Paul has filmed a public service announcement with the CPSC, in which he talks about the fireworks injury that blew off much of his hand in 2015. “Leave fireworks to the fireworks professionals,” Pierre-Paul says in the video.
How can fireworks injuries be avoided? The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following tips:
- Never allowing children to handle them
- Only use legal fireworks, leaving professional-caliber fireworks to the professionals
- Keeping a bucket of water handy and not trying to relight a firework that didn't ignite.
In other words, use common sense when handling explosives.
For F.A.Q.’s about Fireworks, please visit the Pennsylvania State Police website.
Have a happy and SAFE 4th of July!
For more information about this and other public safety activities find us at our Website, Crimewatch page, on Facebook or on Twitter at @1SCCRPD. Questions about this press release can be directed to the Chief of Police’s office at 610-268-2907, extension 105.