Are Fireworks Legal in California?

Good news: Mostly! If you’re scratching your head, we get it. While fireworks come with a lot of fun (see: eye-popping explosions, dazzling colors, thunderous booms), they also come with a lot of rules and regulations. That’s why we’ve broken down the laws for you to keep you safe, having fun, and compliant when purchasing fireworks online.

Crowd observing fireworks

Where Are Fireworks Legal in California?

297 Communities in California currently permit the sale and use of state-approved fireworks every 4th of July. In order to get state-approved status, those fireworks must be designated “Safe and Sane” and must display a “State of California, State Fire Marshal Registered Fireworks” seal. No seal, no go.

Safety Tip: It’s not only illegal, but also wildly dangerous, to discharge fireworks within 100 feet of a location where gasoline or any other flammable liquid is stored. Use your fireworks safely!

What Fireworks Are Legal in California?

California’s “Safe and Sane” fireworks include:

Party poppers and snap caps (the novelty containers that make small popping sounds and shoot out confetti or streamers) are legal year-round.

You can find a full list of “Safe and Sane” fireworks on the State Fire Marshal’s website.

Display fireworks—including some fireworks that fall outside the “Safe and Sane” list—are legal in some instances. To use these fireworks, you must apply for a state license with the State Fire Marshal. If approved, you must then apply to local authorities for approval at least 10 days before the date of your proposed event.

Without a license, prohibited fireworks include:

  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Roman candles
  • Chasers
  • All wire and wooden stick sparklers
  • Torpedoes
  • Firework kits
  • Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner
  • Fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates, magnesium (magnesium-aluminum alloys are permitted), mercury salts, picrates or picric acid, gallates or gallic acid (with few exceptions), boron, titanium (except particle sizes larger than 100 mesh), zirconium, and/or gunpowder

Without proper licensing, it’s illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that don’t carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, or use or possess fireworks in any community where they’re not permitted.

You must be 18 years of age to buy or sell fireworks (both online and in-person!).

When Are Fireworks Legal in California?

You can legally purchase fireworks at licensed retailers in California every year from noon on June 28 to noon on July 6. (And remember—by “retailers” we mean actual stores and, not your friend’s brother selling them out of the back of his pickup.)

In most locations, you can also legally use “Safe and Sane” fireworks during that same time period. Check with the State Fire Marshal’s Office or check your local laws for your exact usage dates.

Note: Depending on your location, you may also be able to purchase fireworks at approved non-profit organizations and booths. Check your local laws for more info!

Where Can I Buy Fireworks in California?

You can swing by a licensed retailer during California’s brief selling window—or you can purchase fireworks online anytime with Red Apple for in-store pickup in Pahrump, NV. Whether you’re looking for a finale-worthy extravaganza or simple sparklers for the family, our online store boasts endless options to light up the sky (and with bulk pricing for everyone, that means major savings for you!). Explore all we have to offer and buy fireworks online with us now!