Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Fireworks Laws State by State – What Kind of Bang Can You Get For Your Buck?

Fourth of July and the sweet promise of fireworks are right around the corner. It can be tricky to know exactly which fireworks are and are not legal in your state, so here’s a guide you can use. Remember that laws can also vary by county and city, and be sure to exercise caution when dealing with fireworks of any kind! Make sure you’re on the street or sidewalk, far away from your apartment and your neighbors’ — renter’s insurance usually doesn’t cover fireworks. (It does cover more than you think, though. Learn all about renter’s insurance here.


Fireworks: Everything we think of as “regular fireworks.” This includes:

  • Chasers
  • Cones
  • Salutes
  • Roman candles
  • Rockets


Novelty: Devices that contain a small amount of pyrotechnic and/or explosive composition but does not fall under the category of consumer fireworks. These devices produce limited visible or audible effects. This includes:

  • Poppers
  • Sparklers
  • Snappers
  • Trick noisemakers


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Who Decides the Law?
The state fire marshal sets the regulations for what types are and aren’t legal.

How Do I Know If It’s Legal?
When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is: If retailers sell it in your state, it’s probably legal in your state. If you want to be absolutely sure, please check your state laws online.
States That Ban All Consumer Fireworks:

  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts


States That Only Allow Novelty Fireworks (Sparklers, Snakes, Poppers):

  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Ohio
  • Vermont


States That Allow Novelty Fireworks and Ground Fireworks (Cones and Volcanoes):

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin


States That Allow Novelty Fireworks, Ground Fireworks and Aerial Fireworks (Bottle Rockets and Roman Candles):

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina


States That Allow Novelty Fireworks, Ground Fireworks, Aerial Fireworks, and Bombs and Shells (M-80s and Cherry Bombs):

  • Arkansas
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri (except ground salutes that exceed DOT limits)
  • New Mexico (except stick-type rockets having a tube with less than a ¼” inside diameter)
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota (except any fireworks made wholly or in part of dynamite, nitroglycerin or giant powder)
  • Tennessee (except certain ground salutes)
  • Texas
  • Wyoming


Little-Known Facts:

  • In California, you cannot have fireworks that resemble food.
  • In Florida, fireworks are only legal if labeled and sold as “pest control.”
  • Ohio requires those who purchase fireworks to promise to take them out of the state after a set period of time.
  • In South Dakota, agricultural workers may set off fireworks to protect sunflower crops from birds and other pests.
  • On Hawaii’s Big Island, it is illegal to set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of a “hospital, convalescent home, zoo or animal hospital.”
  • In 1731, Rhode Island officials outlawed using fireworks for “mischievous ends” due to too many pranks.


Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Disclaimer: DO NOT rely on this information as being accurate or as legal advice, and please DO handle those fireworks carefully.



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Hi! I’m Maria, formerly the Social Media & Content Marketing Manager for ForRent.com. I was part of a dream team that is dedicated to running this awesome blog along with ForRent.com's social channels. If I am not busy writing blogs and socially sharing, you can find me working out, drinking cappuccinos, stylizing my apartment and doing DIY projects!


  1. better re-check Maine and NH fireworks laws – in Maine, they should be red stripes, as of 2011. NH is convoluted – they allow seemingly the same as Maine, but not exactly.

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