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Last year, legislation amended Section 270 of the State Penal Law to provide counties and cities with the ability to allow the storage, sale, and use of a specific classification of consumer fireworks referred to as “Sparkling Devices.” Counties and cities accomplish this by excluding Sparkling Devices from the definitions of "fireworks" and "dangerous fireworks" in a local law.
Once a county has adopted a local law, sparkling devices are "legalized" in all local governments throughout that county, including in the cities within that county. In the absence of a county local law, a city may choose to adopt its own local law. In a county that has adopted a local law excluding Sparkling Devices from the definitions of "fireworks" and "dangerous fireworks," a city, town or village may not pass a local law prohibiting or banning Sparkling Devices.
To reduce the risk of fire where sparkling devices are manufactured, stored, sold, or used new provisions were added to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code). This regulation became effective June 3, 2015, and is found in the 2016 Uniform Code Supplement, to the Fire Code, Section 5610 Sparkling Devices.
Additionally, the legislation requires manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and all retailers to register annually with the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYS DHSES) Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC). Registered retailers are required to have the following items prominently posted for public viewing:
Be aware that Executive Law §156‐h(4)(c) prohibits any county or local government from charging any fees or requiring any permits of any type for the sale and use of sparkling devices. A municipality found to be attempting to regulate/permit the sale or use of sparkling devices should expect to be contacted by NYS DHSES.
Municipalities in counties that have adopted local laws permitting “Sparkling Devices” should become familiar with the provisions of 2016 Uniform Code Supplement, to the Fire Code, Section 5610 Sparkling Devices.and Title 9 NYCRR Part 225 to ensure for the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens while still complying with New York State law. The legislation also only allows the sales of Sparkling Devices from June 1 through July 5, and from December 26 through January 2.