The celebration of Independence Day in the United States on July 4 is characterized by fireworks displays in which friends and family gather to celebrate the date.
However, during this holiday weekend, many decide to use fireworks, which without proper precautions can be dangerous. Also, each state has its own laws and it is important to know them before using them.
A new report from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission., (CPSC, for its acronym in English), finds a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, fireworks injuries increased 25% nationwide, according to CPSC estimates.
According to the CPSC 74% of fireworks injuries occurred in the weeks before or after July 4 in 2021.
The report says that last year, at least nine people were killed and approximately 11,500 injured in fireworks incidents.
Here we tell you what are the rules related to the use of fireworks in the tri-state area and what are legal and illegal.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to sell, possess, or use fireworks, other than certain sparking devices and novelties, without a valid permit.
These are the rules under the New Jersey Fireworks and Explosives Act (N.J.S.A. 21:2-1 et seq., as amended by PL2017, C.92):
- It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, possess, or use fireworks anywhere in the state without a valid permit..
- However, recent changes to the law now allow persons 16 years of age or older to legally purchase, possess and use certain spark gap devices or those made for the public. These permitted fireworks are limited to the familiar portable or ground flares, snakes, and fireflies; smoke devices; and rattle tricks, including party poppers, snappers y drop pops. The sale, possession and use of all other fireworks requires a valid permit.
- The valid permit must be issued by any municipality after of receiving a written request and posting of a bond, for the fireworks show, by municipalities, religious, fraternal or civic organizations, fair associations, amusement parks, or other organizations or groups of individuals approved by the municipality.
- The heads of the Police and Fire Departments must approve the permit.
- An identification number and the specific type of fireworks to be used must be indicated on the permit: The permits will name a person who will be authorized to purchase, or otherwise order, and take delivery of any fireworks.
- A person is guilty of a fourth degree felony if sells, offers or exhibits for sale, or possesses with intent to sell, any fireworks, other than sparking devices and novelties to persons 16 years of age or older.
- A person is guilty of a petty disorderly conduct if he or she purchases, uses, discharges, causes to be discharged, ignited, fired or otherwise put into action, or possesses fireworks without the required permit.
Any business that advertises, offers to sell, or sells fireworks to New Jersey residents is required to clearly disclose that fireworks, except for legal ones such as sparkling devices and novelties, are illegal to possess or use in New Jersey without a valid permit. Failure to do so would be a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and its regulations.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL FIREWORKS IN NEW JERSEY
As we said earlier, recent changes to the law now allow people 16 years of age or older to legally purchase, possess and use certain spark gap devices or those that are made for the public. To see the list go here.
Here we have the images of those that are legal for people over 16 in New Jersey: