Residents across multiple states flock to Pa. to buy fireworks ahead of July 4

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Monday, July 1, 2024
Residents across multiple states flock to Pa. to buy fireworks ahead of July 4
Residents across multiple states flock to Pa. to buy fireworks ahead of July 4

BOOTHWYN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Fireworks sales in Pennsylvania are picking up ahead of July 4th on Thursday, with stores reporting brisk sales.

"We paid like $750," said Justin Samy, who drove to Pennsylvania from his home in New Jersey to buy fireworks. "Usually for New Year's we get a little more, but for the 4th of July we're keeping it calm."

Because the holiday is on a Thursday this year, stores are expecting crowds after 5 p.m. on Monday, and then a rush of customers the rest of the week.

Many are coming from all over the country to buy their fireworks in Pennsylvania.

SEE ALSO | Philadelphia area July 4th fireworks list for 2024

"We have people from Ohio, from Virginia, from New York, from Connecticut -- they come from far and wide," said Stephanie Young, the manager at TNT Fireworks in Boothyn, Delaware County.

Every state has their own rules when it comes to fireworks.

Ground-based sparking devices are legal in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The bigger aerial consumer fireworks are only legal in Pennsylvania.

"We do get a lot of questions, but we typically make sure they know what their state is allowed and not allowed to have," said Young.

Not far from TNT Fireworks, on Chichester Avenue, Wholesale Fireworks is expecting big crowds this week.

"As it's getting closer to the 4th, we're seeing a lot more foot traffic coming in," said Shelley Jerue, who helps in the store.

The most popular fireworks are mortars, and people are willing to make the drive to get their fix.

"I'm hoping it's a chaotic blur in here," said Jerue.

The 6abc Data Journalism team learned that in Pennsylvania, anyone over 18 can purchase consumer-grade fireworks.

These include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material.

Consumer fireworks do not include "ground and hand-held sparkling devices," "novelties," and "toy caps," which are permitted at all times, officials say.

RELATED | July 4th safety: How to prevent fireworks-related injuries, fires

"Display fireworks," on the other hand, can only be used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.

Those include salutes that contain more than two grains, or 130 milligrams, of explosive materials and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions.

There are also a handful of legal restrictions on fireworks in Pennsylvania.

For example, fireworks can't be discharged on public or private property without permission from the property owner. They also cannot be directed at another person, building, or vehicle.

Fireworks cannot be discharged while a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

You can learn more about fireworks safety and restrictions at

Throughout 2023, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported eight deaths relating to fireworks, including five incidents of firework missuses, two device malfunctions, and one unknown circumstance.

There were an estimated 9,700 injuries involving fireworks treated in emergency departments, and between 2008 and 2023, firework injuries have overall increased, authorities say.