The most patriotic day of the year is here, and what’s the best way to celebrate than to set some fireworks into the air? That is, of course, if you’re legally allowed to do it on your own. The American Pyrotechnics Association has provided the 2012 map of firework laws for every state in America so you can check and make sure all is well before getting arrested on America’s 236th birthday. Now that’s no fun at all.
Of course, pay extra attention to the details other than the colors on the map. While most of the map may show blue for legal use of fireworks, not all areas of a certain state will allow it. For example, Central Florida may be alright with fireworks but Volusia, Osceola, and Brevard counties impose a ban as of 2011. Check with your local county laws to make sure you will be able to legally light the fireworks before purchasing or you might have to replan your the location of your festivities.
The APA also lists in great detail what is considered legal as consumer fireworks and what’s not. For example, in Oregon, consumer fireworks “obtained from an Oregon permitted retail stand, such as cones, fountains, and wheels” are perfectly okay while “aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets and roman candles” and those not purchased from a permitted retail stand are strictly prohibited. This means no buying firecrackers off the Internet even if you can launch it in your state.
Louisiana, in particular, has an even stricter rule on the types of fireworks allowed. According to state laws, items prohibited are as detailed as “2” American made salutes, firecrackers exceeding 1.5″ in length or .25″ in diameter, torpedoes exceeding 3/8″ in diameter, roman candles larger than 10″ ball, and sky rockets with a casing of less than 5/8″ in diameter and less than 2-7/8″ in length, with an overall length of 15.”
Unfortunately for residents in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, all consumer fireworks are banned so you’ll have to stick to shows arranged by your local city or travel to another state where it’s legal. Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Vermont residents will also only be able to enjoy sparklers at most.
Now that we’ve got some laws out of the way, we hope you have a great time celebrating Independence Day and enjoy some colorful fireworks whether it’s on your television or from the view in your backyard. Happy fourth!