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New Pennsylvania Fireworks Law Could Make for Noisy 4th of July

Shooting fireworks are now legal in Pennsylvania, including bottle rockets, fire crackers and Roman candles.

If your kids (or pets) don't like fireworks, Fourth of July in Pennsylvania might be rougher on them this year.

As of October, Pennsylvania residents are allowed to set off fireworks that shoot into the sky, something that had been illegal, if sometimes ignored, in the Keystone State.

The new law means this will be the first July Fourth where you (or your neighbors) can legally shoot off bottle rockets, fire crackers and Roman candles. It also means that you can buy those things in stores and roadside stands in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania suburbs.

There are limits, however. on where you can set off your rockets' red glare.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, fireworks cannot be set off:

  • Within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
  • Anywhere where you don't have the property owner's permission.
  • From inside or toward a vehicle or building.
  • By anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In New Jersey, most fireworks remain illegal, although, as of last year, sparklers and some novelty fireworks that stay on the ground became legal.

In Delaware, all fireworks, including sparklers, remain illegal.

Because there may be more boom and "awwws" in Pennsylvania this Fourth of July, here are some safety reminders from KidsHealth.

  • Steer clear of people setting off fireworks in case they backfire or shoot in the wrong direction.
  • Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
  • Don't carry fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
  • Light one at a time — and not in a glass or metal container — and never relight a dud.
  • Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after they've been fired; they might still be ignited and explode.
  • Soak fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.
  • Animals have sensitive ears and can be stressed by fireworks. Keep pets indoors so they don't run away.
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