Back in 2017, fireworks became legal in the state of Pennsylvania, but folks need to check their borough ordinances to see what is actually allowed in their community.
“Just because Pennsylvania allows certain fireworks, your local borough ordinances may not allow those,” Sgt. Jason Hollis with the Tyrone Police Department said.
Police in Altoona and Tyrone are reminding residents in their boroughs about the laws in place to protect their neighbors, and themselves, if they set off any fireworks this Independence Day.
“People are out drinking, having cookouts and parties. Then they start setting off fireworks, and now the fireworks that you can purchase in the state of Pennsylvania are pretty dangerous fireworks. There’s always an accident that occurs, and someone may lose a few fingers or have some significant burning. I know that every year here in Altoona we respond to at least one or more of those calls,” Sgt. Matt Plummer with the Altoona Police Department said.
In both boroughs, fireworks cannot be set off within 150 feet of an occupied structure, such as a house or office building. It’s also illegal to set off fireworks while under the influence or alcohol or a controlled substance.
“To be honest with you, here in the city of Altoona, it’s pretty much hard to find anywhere that’s not within 150 feets of an occupied structure,” Plummer said.
In Altoona, folks are prohibited from setting off any fireworks between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. While Tyrone does not have specific hours, they still ask residents to be considerate of the time.
“I get it. I’m as patriotic as can be. You know, 21 years in the service, I really apprecaite the Fourth of July and the country being born and the whole nine yards, but we still have to do it with consideration of others,” Hollis said.
Both police departments will have extra staffing during the holiday and ask the public to be patient, as they get hundreds of calls when celebration are going on all around the area. You can check with your local borough office or police department for what the regulations are where you live.