despp: Fireworks and Special Effects
Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit

Fireworks and Special Effects

ALL FIREWORKS (with the exception of sparklers) ARE ILLEGAL in Connecticut   and may NOT be sold, purchased or used, with the EXCEPTION of regulated fireworks displays by state licensed, professional pyrotechnicians at sites which have been approved by state and local officials. Fireworks are defined by law as "any combustible or explosive composition prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation." Novelties, and trick noise makers such as smoke bombs, party poppers and snappers and the "snake", and are banned by Connecticut General Statute 29-357.  Effective June 1, 2000, Public Act 00-198 allows any person who is sixteen years of age or older to buy, sell and use sparklers of not more than one hundred grams of pyrotechnic mixture which are non-explosive and non-aerial.  PA-06-177 added new subdivisions to CGS 29-357 relating to the some compounds that are prohibited in sparklers and fountains as well as adding a total pyrotechnic composition if more than one fountian is mounted on a common base.  Public Act 06-177 also added Fountians to this category and provided definitions for 'sparklers' and 'fountians' that are found in CGS 29-356.

Larger so-called "fire crackers" are actually explosive devices which are banned by both state and federal law. They include M-80ís, M-100ís, M-250ís and larger, cherry bombs, quarter sticks, block busters and other similar devices. Possession of these devices is prohibited by Connecticut General Statute 29-348, Illegal Possession of Explosives; manufacture of these devices is prohibited by Connecticut General Statute 53-80a., Manufacture of Bombs. The only exceptions to the fireworks statute are paper caps which contain less than .025 grains of explosive material.

Transportation to Connecticut of fireworks which have been privately purchased out-of-state is illegal. The fine for violation of transportation regulations is not more than $1,000 for a first offense; persons found guilty of subsequent offenses will be fined not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. If injury or death results from such violation, the fine shall be not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both. To order and purchase fireworks by mail is illegal in Connecticut.

Violation of CGS 29-357(d) calls for a fine of not more than $100 or a prison term of not more than 90 days or both; offering for sale, exposing for sale, or selling at retail or possessing with intent to sell a value exceeding $10,000 is a Class A misdemeanor.

The penalty for illegal possession of explosives, CGS 29-348, is a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 10 years, or both for each offense.

Violation of CGS 53-80a (manufacture of bombs) is a Class B felony; if a fire caused by fireworks is determined to be arson, first degree (CGS 53a-111), it is a Class A felony; 53a-112 arson second degree, Class B felony; arson, third degree, Class C felony; or if such a fire is determined to be reckless burning, (53a-114), it is a Class D felony.

The only safe way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted at a state approved site by state-licensed pyro-technicians.

License & Permits for Fireworks

Content Last Modified on 1/20/2012 8:23:50 AM