Guide to Fireworks in the Commonwealth
Many local jurisdictions prohibit the use of all fireworks. Check with your locality to determine any local regulations.
In accordance with Section §27-96.1 of the Code of Virginia, unless prohibited by a local ordinance, the provisions of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code pertaining to fireworks shall not apply to the sale of or to any person using, igniting, or exploding permissible fireworks on private property with the consent of the owner of such property.
The fireworks listed in the 2023 Virginia Permissible Fireworks List have been field tested to compare the items to the performance criteria of the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory (AFSL) and are classified as "permissible fireworks" for purposes of applying and enforcing the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. The requirements for the sale or use of other than permissible fireworks, including certification and permit requirements, can be found in Chapter 56 of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/document/1360/14583684).
CAUTION: Code of Virginia §27.97 allows local jurisdictions to adopt fire prevention regulations that are more restrictive or more extensive in scope than the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. Many local jurisdictions prohibit the use of all fireworks. Individuals should check with their city, county or town to determine any local regulations.
Click the graphics below to download and share on social media. Remember the only safe way to celebrate is by attending public displays. Leave fireworks to the professionals!
The Purpose of the Permissible Fireworks List
Each year countless Virginians are injured or worse due to fireworks. Pictured below is the State Fire Marshal's Office annual field testing of fireworks to compare the items to the performance criteria of the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory (AFSL) and are classified as "permissible fireworks" for purposes of applying and enforcing the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. These tests make sure only code compliant consumer grade fireworks are bought/sold in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Firework safety tips
The only safe way to view fireworks is by attending public displays and leaving the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.
- Purchase only legal fireworks available at approved stands. Never craft your own fireworks or combine multiple fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in which all used fireworks can be placed.
- Know the laws for your specific locality as local jurisdictions may adopt fire prevention regulations that are more restrictive or extensive in scope than the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
Be Safe While Using
- Use eye protection, wear safety goggles.
- Always read and follow the directions on the label.
- Never point fireworks at people, pets, cars or buildings.
- Do not use fireworks near tall dry grassy fields, combustible materials or wooded areas.
- Do not use under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
Disposal of Fireworks
- After you finish — clean up all debris when finished. Duds (fireworks that didn't function) can be dangerous; if a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least 15 minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water.
- Be sure all unused fireworks, matches and lighters are out of the sight and reach of children.
- Dispose of fireworks properly. Soak them completely in water before putting them in the trash can.
- Monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.