Civic News

Fireworks are legal in Delaware — here’s all the fine print

With a new fireworks law in Delaware, here's what you can (and can't) do legally.

Sparklers — and other non-exploding, non airborne fireworks — are legal in Delaware on July 4, New Year's and Diwali. (Photo by Flickr user Matej, used under a Creative Commons license)

You may have heard that fireworks are now legal in Delaware, just in time for the Fourth of July. It’s true, some fireworks (excluding perennial faves like bottle rockets and cherry bombs) will be legal on the holiday.

Here’s what you should know if you want to keep it legal:

  • Nothing airborne. You can have sparkle, but keep it ground-based. There’s a lot to choose from that category, including spinners, fountains, jumping jacks, ground blooms and handheld sparklers.
  • Nothing that explodes. Firecrackers are still illegal. Smoke bombs, which resemble cherry bombs but create smoke instead of an explosion, are OK, as are “crackle” type products that make non-explosive  sound.
  • Use it all up on the 4th. July 4 and Dec. 31 are the only days when fireworks are legal in Delaware. They go back to being illegal on July 5, so, legally, you’ll have to get rid of any leftover fireworks. They’ll go on sale again a few days before New Year’s Eve.

If you can’t resist illegal airborne fireworks, AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds Delawareans that no insurance policy will cover your loss if you have an accident with fireworks that are illegal in your municipality.

Here are a few health and safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) via AAA:

  • Use permitted fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Ensure all small children, pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
  • With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.

You can purchase legal in Delaware fireworks at grocery stores, including Acme and ShopRite.


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