Are Fireworks Legal in New York State?

Close-Up Of Lit Sparkler At Night
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Everyone enjoys the sight of soaring fireworks exploding into brilliant hues that light up the night sky, especially at times like the Fourth of July on Long Island. But along with the colorful scenario, there are some unsettling facts about fireworks.

To begin with, ALL consumer fireworks are banned in New York State (except for those who have a permit. For information on obtaining one, visit Regulations for Pyrotechnics Permits in New York State.) So anywhere in the state, and this obviously includes Long Island, the use of fireworks by those who do not have a permit is strictly illegal.

Dangers of Fireworks

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2010, approximately 8,600 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries that were associated with fireworks. Over half of these injuries were burns and most of the injuries involved people's heads—including the face, eyes, and ears—as well as hands, fingers, and legs.

Another sobering fact: more than 50 percent of the estimated injuries involved children and young adults under the age of 20.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that among those who were harmed were:

  • a 49-year-old man who was fatally injured in an explosion
  • a 26-year-old male who required surgery after a duct-taped group of sparklers exploded and injured his knee, hip, and leg
  • and an 11-year-old boy who found an unused golf ball-shaped firework on the beach and lit it. The firework exploded in the boy's hand and he lost his right index finger, middle finger, and thumb.

Not only can illegal use of fireworks lead the loss of sight, hearing, and limbs or even death, but it also leads to hefty fines. According to the New York State Department of Labor's website, the fine for setting off fireworks without a permit in New York State is $750. Here's the text of the law:


§ 27-4047.1 Civil penalty for use of fireworks without a permit. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and in addition to any criminal penalties that may apply, any person who violates subdivision a of section 27-4047 by using or discharging fireworks within the city without a permit shall be liable for a civil penalty of seven hundred and fifty dollars, which may be recovered in a proceeding before the environmental control board. For the purposes of subdivision e of section 15-230 of this code, such violation shall be deemed to be hazardous.

So rather than risk injury or death, or a fine, go to one of the many legal fireworks displays by pyrotechnics professionals like Grucci on the Fourth of July on Long Island.

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