Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457

                       FIREWORKS  -  JULY 4th CELEBRATION                                          

As the JULY 4th holiday approaches, the Connecticut State Police and the Department of Public Safety Office of the State Fire Marshal want to remind everyone, that fireworks are illegal in the State of Connecticut. The public has been overwhelmed with advertisement, signs, and sales pitches of so-called fireworks. It is important to understand that the only legal “Fireworks” items in Connecticut are sparklers.

July 2006 will be the sixth year that Independence Day will be celebrated since Connecticut legalized the use of SPARKLERS.  Many questions are received by State Police, fire Marshals, Resident Troopers, and local Police statewide regarding fireworks.  The questions reveal that many people are confused as to which “fireworks” can be used by citizens in our state.

To avoid confusion and caution our citizens Connecticut Law 29-357 is very specific. Only sparklers are legal in Connecticut.  Sparklers are NON-EXPLOSIVE, NON-AERIAL devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture. Sparklers can only be legally used by person age 16 or older.

Novelty items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in Connecticut. In addition to being illegal exploding devices are dangerous.  The illegal exploding devices have caused serious injury in the past.

Mr. Wayne Maheu, Director of the Division Office of Fire Emergency, & Building Services, reported that a number of house fires and grass fires have been attributed to fireworks.  “The danger that exists with these type of incidents, besides the damage to property, is the endangerment to human life. If a fire or explosion of any type causes damage or destruction, the intentional starting of that fire or intentionally causing that explosion could be designated as an ARSON, which is a Class C felony."   

The safest way to enjoy this years Independence Day celebration is to attend a public display conducted at a state approved site by Connecticut licensed pyrotechnicians.


examples of legal and illegal fireworks click here to see examples of common types

2006 CT Office of State Fire Marshal Update

Consumer Fireworks in Connecticut


Sparklers first became “legal” in Connecticut or sale and use by the general public (sixteen years of age and older) in June of 2000.

Ref: PA 00-198 CGS §29-357

Public Act 06-177 “An Act Concerning Sparklers” became effective on effective June 9, 2006 with the Governor’s signature and made the following changes:

PA 06-177 is on next two pages

Ø     Added Fountain” as “legal” in Connecticut

Ø     Clarified the definitions of Sparklers & Fountains ~ CGS §29-356 (2) & (3)

Ø     Removed “sparklers and fountains” from the definition of “fireworks” as used in CGS §29-356 ~ §29-365

Eliminates need for permits & regulations on outdoor displays

Ø     Provided limits on the amounts and composition of pyrotechnic mixtures per item (sparklers & fountains) ~ CGS §29-357(a)

o       Sparklers = 100 grams max each

o       Fountains = 100 grams max each individual fountain*

*If 2 or more fountains are affixed to a common base, the total quantity of pyrotechnic composition of all fountains combined cannot exceed 200 grams

Ø     Requires State Fire Marshal to include in the CT Fireworks and Special Effects Code provisions for the indoor use of sparklers and fountains. Indoor use requires Special Effects permit.

Public Act No. 06-177


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 29-356 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

As used in sections 29-356 to 29-365, inclusive:

(1) "Fireworks" means and includes any combustible or explosive composition, or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, Daygo bombs, [sparklers or other fireworks of like construction] and any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance, except that the term "fireworks" shall not include sparklers and fountains and toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps manufactured in accordance with the regulations of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission or its successor agency for packing and shipping of toy paper caps are used and toy pistol paper caps manufactured as provided therein.

(2) "Sparklers" means a wire or stick coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces a shower of sparks upon ignition.

(3) "Fountain" means any cardboard or heavy paper cone or cylindrical tube containing pyrotechnic mixture that upon ignition produces a shower of colored sparks or smoke. "Fountain" includes, but is not limited to, (A) a spike fountain, which provides a spike for insertion into the ground, (B) a base fountain which has a wooden or plastic base for placing on the ground, or (C) a handle fountain which is a handheld device with a wooden or cardboard handle.

Sec. 2. Section 29-357 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person, firm or corporation shall offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail or use or explode or possess with intent to sell, use or explode any fireworks. [, except, notwithstanding the provisions of section 29-356, any] A person who is sixteen years of age or older may offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, purchase, use or possess with intent to sell or use sparklers or fountains of not more than one hundred grams of pyrotechnic mixture per item, which are nonexplosive and nonaerial, provided (1) such sparklers and fountains do not contain magnesium, except for magnalium or magnesium-aluminum alloy, (2) such sparklers and fountains containing any chlorate or perchlorate salts do not exceed five grams of composition per item, and (3) when more than one fountain is mounted on a common base, the total pyrotechnic composition does not exceed two hundred grams.

(b) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt reasonable regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, for the granting of permits for supervised displays of fireworks or for the indoor use of pyrotechnics, sparklers and fountains for special effects by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, other organizations or groups of individuals or artisans in pursuit of their trade. Such permit may be issued upon application to said State Fire Marshal and after (1) inspection of the site of such display or use by the local fire marshal to determine compliance with the requirements of such regulations, (2) approval of the chiefs of the police and fire departments, or, if there is no police or fire department, of the first selectman, of the municipality wherein the display is to be held as is provided in this section, and (3) the filing of a bond by the applicant as provided in section 29-358. No such display shall be handled or fired by any person until such person has been granted a certificate of competency by the State Fire Marshal, in respect to which a fee of fifty dollars shall be payable to the State Treasurer when issued and which may be renewed every three years upon payment of a fee of thirty dollars to the State Treasurer, provided such certificate may be suspended or revoked by said marshal at any time for cause. Such certificate of competency shall attest to the fact that such operator is competent to fire a display. Such display shall be of such a character and so located, discharged or fired as in the opinion of the chiefs of the police and fire departments or such selectman, after proper inspection, will not be hazardous to property or endanger any person or persons. In an aerial bomb, no salute, report or maroon may be used that is composed of a formula of chlorate of potash, sulphur, black needle antimony and dark aluminum. Formulas that may be used in a salute, report or maroon are as follows: (A) Perchlorate of potash, black needle antimony and dark aluminum, and (B) perchlorate of potash, dark aluminum and sulphur. No high explosive such as dynamite, fulminate of mercury or other stimulator for detonating shall be used in any aerial bomb or other pyrotechnics. Application for permits shall be made in writing at least fifteen days prior to the date of display, on such notice as the State Fire Marshal by regulation prescribes, on forms furnished by him, and a fee of thirty-five dollars shall be payable to the State Treasurer with each such application. After such permit has been granted, sales, possession, use and distribution of fireworks for such display shall be lawful for that purpose only. No permit granted hereunder shall be transferable. Any permit issued under the provisions of this section may be suspended or revoked by the State Fire Marshal or the local fire marshal for violation by the permittee of any provision of the general statutes, any regulation or any ordinance relating to fireworks.

(c) The State Fire Marshal may grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, particular provisions of any regulation issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section where strict compliance with such provisions would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship or is otherwise adjudged unwarranted, provided any such variation, exemption, approved equivalent or alternate compliance shall, in the opinion of the State Fire Marshal, secure the public safety and shall be made in writing.

(d) Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days or be both fined and imprisoned, except that (1) any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section by offering for sale, exposing for sale or selling at retail or possessing with intent to sell any fireworks with a value exceeding ten thousand dollars shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and (2) any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of subsection (b) of this section or any regulation adopted thereunder shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, except if death or injury results from any such violation, such person, firm or corporation shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Signed by Governor Rell on  June 9, 2006

Consumer Fireworks ~ Sale & Storage

2005 State Fire Safety And Building Code Definitions:

Note: By removing “sparklers and fountains” from the definition of “fireworks” as found in CGS §29-356 (1), this legislation does not affect the application of the 2005 State Fire Safety and Building Codes effective December 31, 2005 with respect to “consumer fireworks”. The definitions used in the Building and Fire Safety Code do not rely on the language of CGS §29-356.

2005 CSFSC Part V (NFPA 1)

Operational and Maintenance Issues

Chapter 3 Definitions

3.3.47 Consumer Fireworks. See* Consumer Fireworks. Any small fireworks device designed primarily to produce visible effects by combustion or deflagration that complies with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as set forth in 16 CFR 1500 and 1507.

2005 State Building Code

307.2 Defintions.

Fireworks, 1.4G. (Formerly Class C, Common Fireworks.) Small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion. Such 1.4G fireworks which comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the DOTn for fireworks, 49 CFR (172), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as set forth in CPSC 16 CFR: Parts 1500 and 1507, are not explosive materials for the purpose of this code.

Quantity Limits within buildings:

Total on Display and in Storage

·       500 lbs (227.2 kg) gross including packaging

Building protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system

·       1,000 lbs (454.4 kg) gross including packaging

CSFSC Part V ~ Operational and Maintenance Issues

Chapter 20 - Occupancy Fire Safety

Mercantile Occupancies

Based upon requirements found in NFPA 1124 Storage and Display of Consumer Fireworks. Consumer fireworks shall be under the visual supervision of a store employee or other responsible party while the store is open to the public.

Intent is for those on display to be supervised ~ like cigarettes Consumer fireworks shall not be displayed or stored within 1.5 m (5 ft) of any entrance or exit of any enclosed building or structure. The total quantity of consumer fireworks on hand either displayed or in storage shall not exceed 227.2 kg (gross) [500 lb (gross)], including packaging, or 454.4 kg (gross) [1,000 lb (gross)] in a building protected throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with NFPA 13. A quantity in excess of these amounts is subject to approval by the State Fire Marshal.

A modification request

Exterior of Buildings ~ No limits

Temporary outside containers:

Not regulated

Identification ~ Fire Department Awareness

Placards ~ not typically required for transportation

Suggest red/orange Circle or Diamond for FD awareness


·        greater than 1,200 square feet in area, or

·        occupied by 100 or more persons


·        less than 180 days (over 180 days considered permanent building)

CT Tent and Portable Shelter Code effective November 2, 1999

Includes by reference 1995 NFPA 102

2005 CSFSC is sparsely referenced primarily for egress

CSFSC Part V Sec. is not referenced for tents

NFPA 102 Section 9-2.5 states:

“Fireworks or unauthorized open flames shall be prohibited in any tent or membrane structure.”

This section intends to deal with the hazards of open flames which a lit sparkler or fountain would be. It does not prohibit the storage or sale of such items within a tent or portable structure.

2005 CSFSC Part III – effective December 31, 2005

New Construction, Renovations, or Change of Use

2003 International Fire Code

2005 State Building Code

2003 International Building Code

2003 International Mechanical Code

2003 International Existing Building Code (Rehab)

2005 National Electrical Code

2005 CSFSC Part III Section 202 General Definitions

(Amd) OCCUPANCY CLASSIFICATION. For the purposes of this code, certain occupancies are defined as follows:

High-Hazard Group H. High-hazard group H occupancy includes, among others, the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, that involves the manufacturing, processing, generation or storage of materials that constitute a physical or health hazard in quantities in excess of those found in Tables 307.7(1) and 307.7(2) of the International Building Code. (See also definition of “control area”).

High-hazard Group H-3. Buildings and structures containing materials that readily support combustion or that pose a physical hazard shall be classified as Group H-3. Such materials shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Class I, II or IIIA flammable or combustible liquids which are used or stored in normally closed containers or systems pressurized at less than 15 pounds per square inch (103.4 kPa) gauge;

Combustible fibers;

Consumer fireworks, 1.4G (Class C, Common);

Cryogenic fluids, oxidizing;

Flammable solids;

Organic peroxides, Class II and Class III;

Oxidizers, Class 2;

Oxidizers, Class 3, that are used or stored in normally closed containers or systems pressurized at less than 15 pounds per square inch gauge (103 kPa);

Oxidizing gases;

Unstable (reactive) materials, Class 2;

Water-reactive materials, Class 2.

2005 SBC Section 307.1

Referenced by 2005 CSFSC Part III (IFC) Section 202 in the definition of High-Hazard Group H occupancy

2005 SBC Section 307.1 in Tables 307.7(1) & 307.7(2) provides limits on the quantities of hazardous materials (Consumer Fireworks, Class C common) in an occupancy ~ 500/1,000 lbs gross limits

·        Matches Part V of CSFSC

Thus, when the 500 lb/ 1,000 lb limits are exceeded, a Change of Use takes place from usually Mercantile (Group M) Occupancy to High Hazard (Group H-3) Occupancy ~ thus invoking the requirements for New occupancies in the State Fire Safety and Building Codes

2005 CSFSC & SBC Group H-3 occupancy requirements: ~ highlights

Ø     H-3 occupancy protected by automatic fire sprinklers (not entire building)

Ø     Fire rated partitions between other occupancies

Ø     Minimum two exits with emergency lighting