EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — If you’re looking to take in a fireworks display this Fourth of July, the safest bet is to attend a professional and sanctioned event. But if you do choose to light some off at home, be sure you’re opting for a legal choice.
In Rhode Island, only ground-based and handheld sparkling devices—“sparklers”— are legal for use by the general public. These devices produce a shower of white, gold or colored sparks and additional effects may include an audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. They do not rise into the air, fire projectiles, nor explode or produce a report.
Aerial fireworks like the ones you see at big celebrations are illegal to use or sell. If you’re caught doing so, you could be charged with a felony, fined up to $1,000, and face up to a year in jail.
Permits for commercial displays are available. However, if you don’t have a permit, you can also be fined and face jail time.
Do not call 911 to report the use of illegal fireworks. Instead, contact your local police department to file a complaint.
Learn More: Rhode Island Fireworks Law »
It is illegal for citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks of any kind in Massachusetts, or purchase them legally elsewhere and transport them into the state. This includes any devices that produce a visible or audible effect.
Possession or use of fireworks can result in a fine of up to $100 and the devices will be confiscated. For the sale of fireworks, penalties include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison or both, along with confiscation of the devices.