MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Those in Central Pennsylvania will celebrate the country’s birthday with bangs and booms. Police have some tips to keep you safe if you’re lighting your own fireworks.
July 4 isn’t until next Tuesday, but fireworks displays are happening this weekend. Plenty of roadside stands are around to buy fireworks and set them off at home.
Wicked Fireworks on Carlisle Pike in Hampden Township is one of those stands. Employee Kyle Feaser sold fireworks to Dylan Pentz and his grandma Thursday.
“These are one of my favorites from last year. They just spin on the ground all the time. It was cool. It’s fun. I like having them fight each other,” said Pentz, who’s from Enola.
“Everyone goes right for sparklers,” Feaser said. “No one leaves here without sparklers.”
Sparklers and ground displays are legal in Pennsylvania.
“Anything other than that – basically flies into the air – is considering illegal in the state of Pennsylvania,” Hampden Township police Det. Thomas Burfeind said.
Police say you can get a citation and a fine for having illegal fireworks.
“We don’t want anything to result in a more catastrophic event where you could be looking at charges of recklessly endangering another person as well as arson,” Burfeind said. “That’s where you would start looking into misdemeanor and felony charges.”
Police recommend not drinking alcoholic beverages before lighting fireworks, and they say to keep a hose handy.
“It should be adults only,” Burfeind said.” Kids shouldn’t be doing it. It should be directly under adult supervision.”
“Definitely make sure you have enough space around,” Feaser said. “It’s been hot and dry lately. You don’t want to burn down your house or your grass.”
Another tip is to read the directions on the package and follow them.
“The injuries can range from small burns to injuries where you’re losing limbs and the use of your limbs for the rest of your life,” Burfeind said.
Police say most roadside stands are a good place to get your fireworks because they’re regulated.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 11 people died and 11,900 were hurt from using fireworks in the United States in 2015.