You may have noticed that the firework show has started early this year. In fact, Philadelphia police received 947 calls related to fireworks and explosions between May 29 and June 21 alone. Officials are not totally sure of the reasons for these early celebrations, but they’re certain of one thing: DIY firework shows are dangerous.
In 2017, legislators passed House Bill 532, allowing state residents to purchase Class C fireworks containing up to 50 milligrams of explosives. This means that firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles are all legal in Pennsylvania. This bill initially conflicted with the Philadelphia Fire Code, which banned consumer fireworks in city limits unless the user had a permit. However, in 2019, Mayor Jim Kenney updated the fire code to allow consumer fireworks in the city, with several restrictions.
Off-limits fireworks for residents include:
- Display fireworks (containing more than 130 mg of explosives)
- Aerial shells (containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic composition)
- M-type devices (including M-80s and M-100s)
What Other Firework Restrictions Are There?
The city of Philadelphia strictly limits how fireworks can be used in order to keep residents safe. For example:
- Only people over 18 can buy, possess or use consumer fireworks.
- Fireworks cannot be used on public property.
- Fireworks on private property must have written consent from the owner.
- Fireworks can’t be set off within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
- Fireworks can’t be set off under trees or powerlines.
- Fireworks can’t be set off from inside or toward buildings or vehicles.
- Fireworks can’t be used by people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
One proposed state bill may restrict when fireworks can be used, as well. More specifically, it would ban fireworks between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. except on holidays and increase the age limit for firework purchase and use to 21. The bill is still under consideration.
Keep Hearing Health in Mind This Fourth of July
It’s important to follow all the above firework regulations in order to keep your neighbors and their properties safe. But it’s important to keep your hearing safe to prevent hearing loss during the holidays, too.
- Keep a safe distance – ideally 500 feet from where fireworks are being set off.
- Attend a community display rather than setting off your own fireworks.
- Bring earplugs and earmuffs, especially if you plan to sit near the action.
- If you buy your own fireworks, pay attention to noise level ratings and aim for those with lower decibel outputs.
- Avoid rockets, mines and any fireworks that have many blasts strung tightly together.
For more information about keeping your hearing safe or to schedule a hearing test, call the experts at Pinnacle ENT Associates today.