New Hampshire is the only state in New England where consumer fireworks are legal. (Ralph Orlowski | Getty Images)
In the “Live Free or Die” state, consumer fireworks are legal to purchase and use on private property.
But not in all cities and towns. State law allows communities to implement their own restrictions, so residents are encouraged to check their local laws before celebrating with fireworks this Fourth of July. The most recently available town-by-town breakdown can be viewed here (https://rb.gy/vfpcm).
A person has to be 21 or older to purchase fireworks at licensed retail fireworks stores in the state, and must have permission of a private property owner to use them. A person can be held liable in any civil action for damage to another’s property as a result of fireworks.
Permissible fireworks in New Hampshire, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office, include cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, ground spinners, helicopters, aerial spinners, roman candles, mines, reloadable mortars, parachutes, firecrackers, party poppers, snaps, smoke devices containing less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic composition, bottle rockets and missiles, and sparklers.
State fire officials encourage users of fireworks to “be prepared, be safe, and be responsible.” An annual report in 2022 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries – a 25 percent increase between 2006 and 2021, according to CPSC estimates. In 2021, at least nine people died and an estimated 11,500 people were injured in accidents involving fireworks.
New Hampshire and Maine are the only states in New England where consumer fireworks are legal. Elsewhere in the region, states leave it solely to the professionals, though Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont allow sparklers.
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