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Federal and State Fireworks Laws & Regulations

To help prevent injuries from fireworks-related incidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces federal laws that prohibit the sale of the most dangerous types of fireworks to consumers. To view some statistics on fireworks injuries, please select this link: Fireworks Injuries.

Fireworks Banned Under Federal Law

  • M-80s
  • Cherry Bombs
  • Any firecrackers containing more than 50 milligrams (about 1/16th of the weight of a typical aspirin tablet) of powder
  • Large, re-loadable shells
  • Aerial Bombs
  • Mail order kits for building fireworks

In March of 1997, a new CPSC standard that bans large, unstable, multiple-tube fireworks took effect. This standard is designed to eliminate the deadly tip-over hazard that has killed two innocent bystanders, including a 3 year old boy, at family celebrations.

Illegal Explosive Devices from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Fireworks Are legal in the State of Maine with some exceptions as described below.

Under Chapter 416 "An Act to Legalize the Sale, Possession and Use of Fireworks", fireworks have been broken into three categories as follows:

  1. Consumer Fireworks
  2. Fireworks
  3. Display or Commercial Grade Fireworks

1. "Consumer Fireworks" has the same meaning as in 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 555.11 or subsequent provision, but includes only products that are tested and certified by a 3rd-party testing laboratory as conforming with United States Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, in accordance with 15 United States Code, Chapter 47. "Consumer fireworks" does not include the following products which are illegal to sell, use or possess in Maine:

A. Missile-type rockets, as defined by the State Fire Marshal by rule;

B. Helicopters and aerial spinners, as defined by the State Fire Marshal by rule; and

C. Sky rockets and bottle rockets. For purposes of this paragraph, "sky rockets and bottle rockets" means cylindrical tubes containing not more than 20 grams of chemical composition, as defined by the State Fire Marshal by rule, with a wooden stick attached for guidance and stability that rise into the air upon ignition and that may produce a burst of color or sound at or near the height of flight.

Sky lanterns (also known as floating or Chinese lanterns) are illegal to use, buy, sell or possess in Maine: Fact Sheet (PDF, 1 page, 51 KB)

"Consumer Fireworks" are the only type of fireworks that can be sold directly to the public in Maine.

Note: Under Chapter 416, the legislative body of a municipality may adopt an ordinance to prohibit or restrict the sale or use of consumer fireworks within the municipality. Municipalities that prohibit or restrict the sale or use of consumer fireworks shall provide to the Office of the State Fire Marshal a copy of the relevant restriction or prohibition within 60 days of adoption. A municipality may require that a person obtain a municipal permit for selling consumer fireworks within the municipality. A municipality that chooses to issue municipal permits under this subsection shall notify the Office of the State Fire Marshal at least 60 days prior to the initiation of its permitting program for the sale of consumer fireworks.

For more information on consumer fireworks in Maine, including town fireworks ordinances, go to Consumer Fireworks in Maine or call Michelle Mason Webber at (207) 626-3873. For information on licensing to sell consumer fireworks in Maine, contact Tim Fuller at (207) 626-3888.


2. Fireworks means any combustible or explosive composition or substance; any combination of such compositions or substances; or any other article which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, including blank cartridges or toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to propel it, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, bombs, rockets, wheels, colored fires, fountains, mines, serpents, or other fireworks of like construction; any fireworks containing any explosive substance or flammable compound; or any other device containing any explosive substance or flammable compound. The term "Fireworks" does not include Consumer fireworks or toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper caps or plastic caps containing 25/100 grains or less of explosive compound are used if they are constructed so that the hand can not come in contact with the cap when in place for the explosion, toy pistol paper caps or plastic caps that contain less than 20/100 grains of explosive mixture, sparklers that do not contain magnesium chlorates or perchlorates or signal, antique or replica cannons if no projectile is fired.

3. Display or Commercial Grade Fireworks are fireworks that only trained and licensed pyrotechnicians may handle and use within a regulatory structure set forth in Title 8, Chapter 9-A.


Professional Fireworks and Retail Sales Information

The Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal has enacted rules to guide fireworks companies in their professional displays and/or retail sales of consumer fireworks within the state of Maine. These chapters are in MS Word format.

Chapter 25: Rules for the Display of Fireworks

Chapter 26: Pyrotechnics Before a Proximate Audience

Chapter 36: Consumer Fireworks Sales License


Fireworks Enforcement and Penalties

Please select a link to go to the corresponding statute language to view enforcement information and penalties.

Title 8, Chapter 9-A: FIREWORKS

Section 221-A: Definitions

Section 222: Possession of fireworks- A person may not possess or have under that person's control fireworks, unless they have a permit.

Section 223: Sale of fireworks- No person may sell, possess with the intent to sell, or offer for sale fireworks.

Section 223-A: Sale of consumer fireworks- A person may not sell consumer fireworks without a license. See also Chapter 36: Consumer Fireworks Sales License. A person may not sell consumer fireworks to a person under 21 or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Section 224: Storage and manufacture of fireworks- No person may store fireworks in a building or structure outside the premises of a fireworks manufactory if that building or other structure is located within 1,000 feet of any church, hospital, theatre, hall, place of assembly, workshop, factory or any inhabited building unless rules adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety permit storage in that building or structure.

Section 225: Transportation of fireworks-No person may transport fireworks in a motor vehicle or conveyance except as permitted by the rules adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety.

Section 227-A: Requirements for obtaining a permit- A person may not conduct a display without a permit.

Section 227-B: Regulation restricted, exception

Section 227-C: Denial, suspension or revocation of permit

Section 228: Application of provisions

Section 230: Appeals

Section 231: Fireworks technician, proximate audience technician and flame effect technician license qualifications

Section 232: Fees

Section 233: Renewal of license

Section 234: Denial; suspension; revocation; grounds

Section 235: Suspension by commissioner

Section 236: Adoption of rules

Section 237: Seizure, forfeiture and disposal of fireworks


If you have any questions, please contact the State Fire Marshal's Office at (207) 626-3870.

 

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