Agriculture Committee holds hearing on Farry firework safety legislation

House Bill 1687 would implement fireworks discharge time constraints and increase criminal penalties for the selling/use of fireworks in violation of the law

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee recently held a hearing on legislation authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) to enhance fireworks safety across Pennsylvania.

The committee hosted panels of testifiers to gather feedback on House Bill 1687 including the executive director of Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute Jerry Ozog; city of Wilkes-Barre fire chief Jay Delaney; and three local government officials.

“While fireworks are a great way to celebrate community, I want to ensure people are not using fireworks contrary to the law or potentially harming neighbors and damaging property,” Farry said. “My legislation would increase public safety through education of fireworks usage and practical regulations.”

House Bill 1687 would implement fireworks discharge time constraints; offer guidance to local governments on reasonable controls for the sale and use of fireworks; increase criminal penalties for the selling or use of fireworks in violation of the law and provide notice to consumers of state requirements for setbacks for use, permission to use property and any further municipal limitations.

The bill is inspired by the Senate Resolution 6 (SR6) legislative initiative to address major fire and emergency medical services challenges in the Commonwealth. Farry, co-chair of the House Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus, worked among 38 additional members of the SR6 commission to provide recommendations and changes pertaining to emergency and medical services legislation for the 2019-2020 session.