The 4th of July is a time to celebrate America's birthday with friends, food, and, of course, fireworks. In my family, it was always tradition to climb onto the roof of our house and watch the city's fireworks go off in the distance. But my dad would also stop and buy fireworks for all of us to enjoy and light over the holiday weekend. If you plan to buy extras and want to try them earlier, however, you may want to know if it's legal to shoot fireworks on the 3rd of July.
According to USA Today, 4th of July fireworks rules vary by state. Fireworks are a bit of an American summer holiday tradition with consumers spending $755 million on fireworks for personal use for the 4th of July in 2015, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. The most important thing to know is that you need to exercise safety when it comes to using fireworks. It's also important to know what is legal in your area, and to obey local fireworks laws.
When it comes to purchasing and using fireworks, the laws in your state could be very different than the state nearby or even the state you originally came from.
For instance, according to the aforementioned USA Today article, you need to understand the rules and requirements for using consumer fireworks in your state. It's also important to note that some states have regional or park restrictions that actually supersede state laws so it's vital to do all of your research before purchasing fireworks to use on Independence Day.
For instance, California allows ground and handheld sparkling devices but not firecrackers. You have to be more than 16 years old in order to purchase them and they can only be bought between noon on July 28 through noon on July 6th. Meanwhile, in New York, party poppers and snappers are allowed but absolutely no aerial consumer fireworks.
According to Credit.com, the fireworks laws in all 50 states are different and you have to understand yours before trying out any kind of fireworks (whether on July 3rd or 4th). Setting off fireworks early on July 3rd will also vary depending on what state you're in. For instance, Georgia allows fireworks to be set off until midnight on July 3rd and 4th, according to 11 Alive Atlanta. Whatever the rules for your state (you can look them up right here) for fireworks, it's important that you take pre caution this year — and every year.
"Safety must always be the number one priority when using fireworks," executive director of the APA, Julie Heckman, told Credit.com.
So stay safe, have fun, and get ready to set off some fireworks this year. Just don't forget to follow your state laws too.