Are fireworks legal in NY?

July 4 is fast approaching, and officials are reminding New Yorkers once again that fireworks are illegal in New York City.

In New York state, only sparkling devices (also known as sparklers) are legal for customer use, but not in New York City or on Long Island, where they are illegal.

Sparklers are also illegal in the following counties: Albany, Columbia, Erie, Orange (prohibited in the Cities of Middletown and Newburgh only), Schenectady, Warren and Westchester.

Fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, spinners, and aerial devices, are illegal statewide.

Even fireworks purchased legally in Pennsylvania cannot be transported to New York or used in the state. 

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If you violate any of these rules, you could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor, according to the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkins and associates.

"If you have fireworks, you can be ARRESTED, your car can be confiscated, and your business can be closed," the NYPD said in a post on X.

The NYPD also stated that you can be fined up to $1,000 for illegally selling and possessing fireworks.

Under New York Penal Code § 270.00, you will be charged with unlawfully dealing with fireworks and dangerous fireworks if you possess, explode, sell or furnish fireworks. 

What are sparkling devices?

Sparkling devices are ground-based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The law limits the type, size, and construction of sparkling devices and requires that these devices must be handheld or mounted on a base or spike and be limited in sizes that range from 1 to 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition.

Be sure to check that sparkling devices are legal in your city, town, or county as local laws may change. You can contact your local sheriff’s office to ask whether your area allows the use of sparkling devices.

Sales of sparkling devices by certified permanent and specialty retailers can only take place during the year from June 1 to July 5 and sales of sparkling devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5. A list of registered sparkling device vendors and a video about avoiding injuries from fireworks appears here.

Adults are encouraged to provide children and teens with non-flammable alternatives to sparkling devices, which can be easily found at most retail stores including glow sticks and LED Items.

Tips for using fireworks safely

MACYS FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR -- Pictured: Fireworks at the 2022 "Macys Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular" -- (Photo by: Dave Kotinsky/NBC via Getty Images)

MACYS FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR -- Pictured: Fireworks at the 2022 "Macys Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular" -- (Photo by: Dave Kotinsky/NBC via Getty Images)

"As we celebrate this 4th of July with family and friends, it’s important that everyone take proper precautions to keep each other safe," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a press release

Here are some tips from Gov. Hochul's office for using fireworks safely: 

  1. Children and sparklers are a dangerous combination. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
  2. Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  3. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  4. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  5. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  6. Always use fireworks outdoors. Never light sparklers or fireworks inside.
  7. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  8. If you are impaired by alcohol, don’t use fireworks.

For more information, click here.