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Aerial fireworks legal in Pa. this 4th of July; here’s what the law states

YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- This is a special Independence Day holiday here in Pennsylvania.

It's the first time people can buy aerial fireworks in the Commonwealth.

Experts say it can be a fun way to celebrate the fourth so long as people stay safe and within the law.

The same fireworks set off at carnivals, firemen's picnics, and baseball games can now be set off in your backyard.

This Independence Day, you may hear and see a few more explosions in the sky.

That’s because aerial fireworks became legal in Pennsylvania last fall.

FOX43 found dozens of people getting a bang for their buck, thanks to the new law, at Sky King Fireworks in Shrewsbury Township, York County.

“It’s convenient, and I think it should be legal everywhere," said Michael Twining, who drove up to Shrewsbury Township from  Baltimore, Maryland.

“They’re bigger, louder, cuter," said Breshawna Franklin, who drove up to Shrewsbury Township from Washington D.C.

Although some people may think they’re ‘cuter’, these fireworks can create quite an explosion.

Officials remind people to know the law before setting one off.

“It’s all common sense. Be a good neighbor. Don’t shoot them off late at night and bother people, you have to, you know, common sense. The Pennsylvania rule is 150 feet from an occupied structure; I think that’s a good rule," said Ed Camp, the manager at Sky King Fireworks in Shrewsbury Township.

There’s a few other rules people should know:

  • Before setting off fireworks on someone's land, Pennsylvania law states you must get permission from the property owner.
  • While you may be celebrating the occasion with an alcoholic drink, you can’t be under the influence when you ignite fireworks.
  • Last, you cannot shoot fireworks at another person, car, or building or throw them from a car or structure.

Fire officials also recommend people read the safety instructions on the items' box and have water nearby when you create your at-home, pyrotechnic display.

“Especially now with all this heat we have, and I don’t see any rain in sight for the next couple off days, you’re going to want a bucket of water and a hose nearby," said Clifton Laughman, Chief of West Manchester Township Fire Department. "Sometimes, you get those fireworks that don’t go off. You never want to reignite a dud firework. Your best bet is to soak it in a bucket of water and let it alone for about 20 minutes before you even try to throw it away.”

According to experts, you should not leave fireworks in a car, shoot them at animals, take them out of the packaging until you're ready to use them, or try to take them apart or modify one.

If you break the law, you could be fined up to $100.

For a full safety pamphlet on the new law, visit http://paai.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/SAFETY-pamphlet.pdf