Fireworks are incredibly dangerous and can cause catastrophic fires and devastating injuries, such as the 9-year-old Philadelphia girl who suffered life-altering injuries and a 12-year-old boy who lost a finger after playing with explosives.
Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Philadelphia Code historically banned the use and sale of fireworks within Philadelphia city limits, but state legislation from 2017 forced Philadelphia to legalize consumer fireworks.
Nevertheless, Philadelphia can and does substantially restrict fireworks in certain ways:
- The Philadelphia Fire Code bans the use of consumer fireworks within 150 feet of occupied properties.
- The Fire Code prohibits people from setting off fireworks on public or private land without permission of the owner.
- High-explosive fireworks known as Class M, such as M-80s, are illegal in the city.
- It’s against the law to sell fireworks on the street or sidewalk.
Residents should call 9-1-1 to report:
- High-explosive fireworks
- Fireworks close to occupied properties
- Late-night noise violations
- Fireworks sales on the street
Residents should keep in mind that enforcement is difficult, particularly since the folks setting off the fireworks have usually left the area by the time officers arrive.
Leave fireworks to the professionals
There are several opportunities to see professional fireworks during the Wawa Welcome America festival:
- Concilio’s Hispanic Fiesta & Fireworks: Saturday, June 24 before 9 p.m. at Penn’s Landing
- Pershing’s Own Concert & Waterfront Fireworks: Saturday, July 1 before 9:45 p.m. at Penn’s Landing
- Fireworks Spectacular: Tuesday, July 4 around 9:45 p.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (between Eakins Oval and Logan Circle) after the concert starring Demi Lovato and Ludacris.