A bill passed through the Pennsylvania Senate recently added bottle rockets, Roman candles, and similar aerial fireworks to the list of fireworks that can be legally purchased and used in the state, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Currently, consumers can buy small fireworks like sparklers and fountains in Pennsylvania, but many other types of fireworks are prohibited. The new bill would open up sales of some of these currently-forbidden fireworks. However, professional or “display” fireworks would still be illegal to purchase or use unless one is a licensed pyrotechnics professional.
The bill also allows for expanded sales for fireworks. For instance, vendors would be allowed to set up temporary tents or booths in order to sell fireworks for Independence Day, New Year’s Day, and similar celebrations.
The goal of the fireworks expansion, according to legislators who support the bill, is to help make up for a state budget deficit. Supporters estimate that the fireworks sales would bring in an additional $3 million in tax revenue each year.
Opponents, however, worry about the risk of injuries. About 8,000 people require emergency room care for fireworks injuries nationwide each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Many of these injuries result from improper use or handling of fireworks, although some are caused by fireworks that are defectively manufactured or designed, or that come with inadequate warnings or instructions for safe handling. When a firework has hidden defects or inadequate warnings about hidden dangers, serious injuries may result to those who attempt to use the item.
If you’ve been injured by fireworks or by another popular consumer product and you suspect a dangerous defect was to blame, talk to an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights, determine what happened, and seek to hold any negligent parties accountable for their injuries. To speak with Attorney Smith and setup a free initial consultation, please call (412) 368-8398 or fill out our online contact form.