CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia changed its laws on fireworks in 2016 to be less restrictive, but since then, some cities in the state have also changed their laws to protect against the more relaxed laws regarding explosives.
West Virginia’s State Fire Marshal provides the following guidelines:
- A person may not intentionally ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks on public or private property without the express permission of the owner to do so.
- A person may not intentionally ignite or discharge any consumer fireworks or sparkling devices within or throw the same from a motor vehicle or building.
- A person may not intentionally ignite or discharge any consumer fireworks or sparkling devices into or at a motor vehicle or building, or at any person or group of people.
- A person may not intentionally ignite or discharge any consumer fireworks or sparkling devices while the person is under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance or any other drug.
- A person who is less than eighteen years of age may not purchase, nor offer for sale, consumer fireworks.
- A person who is less than sixteen years of age may not purchase, nor offer for sale, sparker or novelty devices.
In addition to the rules laid out by the state, some cities choose to provide additional guidelines for reasons such as safety and noise. Here is a list of some cities in north central West Virginia that restrict fireworks:
Within Morgantown city limits, it is illegal to set off consumer fireworks without a license, registration, certificate or permit from the State Fire Marshal and a valid business license issued by the City of Morgantown. There is no exception for holidays like Independence Day. Sparklers and novelties are permitted. Morgantown also has an ordinance against loud or disturbing noises. Full ordinance.
It is illegal for anyone within the corporate limits of the City to manufacture, wholesale, distribute, import, sell or store for the purpose of resale, consumer fireworks, sparkling devices, or toy caps without a license, registration, certificate or permit from the State Fire Marshal and a valid business license issued by the City. Fairmont does allow fireworks for certain holidays within the city limits, including between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. And for holidays that fall on a Monday, like this year’s Fourth of July, consumer fireworks may also be used, ignited or discharged between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on the Saturday and Sunday before the holiday. Fairmont also allows fireworks between 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 and 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 (New Year’s Eve). Full ordinance.
A recent post by the Bridgeport Police Department said, “Fireworks that go up in the sky and have projectile are NOT permitted in the city limits.” According to Bridgeport City Ordinance, fireworks include “blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used, the type of unmanned balloons which required fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, daygo bombs or other fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.” Fireworks cannot be sold or discharged with an approved “application to the State Fire Marshal and after approval of the Police and Fire Chiefs.”
The City Ordinance for Clarksburg also does not permit fireworks and has nearly the same wording of its fireworks regulations as Bridgeport. The full Clarksburg City Ordinance can be viewed here.
Elkins City Code prohibits consumer fireworks. The City of Elkins website lists “firecrackers, rockets, Roman candles and other fireworks that fire into the air or explode” as products that are illegal. Handheld products such as sparklers or ground-based products such as fountains, snakes and smoke bombs, are allowed. Full ordinance.
Buckhannon’s City Ordinance regarding fireworks makes them illegal except in the following situations:
- Between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Independence Day
- Between 11 a.m. on Dec. 31 and 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1
- Between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the Saturdays before and after Independence Day if the 4th does not fall on a Saturday
- When the Council sets a Resolution
- In the event of a “spontaneous public celebration” proclaimed by the mayor
Weston does not permit consumer fireworks to be discharged within city limits. It does not make any exceptions for holidays. Sparklers are permitted.
The City Ordinance of Grafton does not allow anyone to discharge fireworks with a permit. The location where fireworks are to be discharged under a permit must also be inspected by the fire chief.
Fireworks and “anything of like kind” are illegal to set off in Glenville without a permit in writing from the Common Council of the City of Glenville. Glenville’s Ordinance on fireworks also includes incendiary devices “capable of causing a fire.”
It is illegal to set off fireworks within the corporate limits of the City of Mannington unless it is between the 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on July 3, 4 or 5 or is between 10 a.m., on Dec. 31, and 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 (New Year’s Eve).
A permit to set off fireworks in Parsons costs $10, according to its code. Those permits are valid for three days, but fireworks can only be set off on one of those days. The code also says that fireworks are not allowed within the city limits on Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 and July 3 through 5 “or the designated timeframe.”
If your town or city is not listed above, make sure to check your local laws or with your local police department to make sure that discharging fireworks is legal.