LANCASTER, Penna. (November 5th, 2021) – At a public meeting held at the Manheim Township Public Library on Monday, October 25th, the Manheim Township Board of Commissioners passed ordinance 2021-17, which adopted stricter regulations on consumer fireworks and pyrotechnics in Manheim Township. The Ordinance was passed unanimously by the Board of Commissioners and takes effect immediately. Commissioners expressed that public safety was the major concern.
Currently in Pennsylvania, consumer fireworks can be purchased but are prohibited to be launched within 150 feet of an occupied space, which leaves very few areas in Mannheim Township where discharging fireworks is legal. This is according to PA ACT 43 of 2017 Fireworks Law, which went into effect on October 30th, 2017, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This law however has not discouraged the use of fireworks across Pennsylvania, and fireworks incidents have steadily been on the rise in Manheim Township.
Complaints received by Township residents regarding potential injury and the need to protect homes in suburban areas from fire began the fireworks conversation. In July 2021, with house fires in Pennsylvania caused by consumer fireworks on the rise and a tragic fireworks related death of a child in York County, Manheim Township Commissioners determined they needed to act locally to protect the safety of residents and property.
The new Township Ordinance adopted several State standards, including launching consumer fireworks no closer than 150 feet of an occupied structure, but also went much further to add new limitations on what time and on what days they can be launched. Consumer fireworks can only be used on seven days each year. The permitted days and times are:
Memorial Day (last Monday in May): 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m,
Chinese New Year: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m,
May 5 (Cinco de Mayo): 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
July 4: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Labor Day: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
December 31: 4:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
January 1: 12:00 midnight to 1:00 a.m.
Manheim Township Police Chief Thomas Rudzinski said that “Even though you can buy fireworks, it doesn’t mean that you can use them. You still need to follow the rules and abide by the law or face significant fines.”
Under the new Ordinance, a person using consumer fireworks in violation of this law commits a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 on first offense. Any further violations of the law could lead to fines of up to $1,000.
The Manheim Township Municipal Office will educate the public on the new regulations through the website, social media, and through the local media. Visit www.manheimtownship.org to stay up to date on everything Manheim Township.