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In addition to requiring a Pyrotechnician Certificate of Competence, many local agencies issue permits for displays of fireworks at private events such as weddings and parties, as well as address various safety issues to better protect localities and the public.
Always check with the local authority having jurisdiction for any necessary permits for displays of fireworks at private events.
Penal Law section 405.00 regulates fireworks display permits. It allows individuals to obtain permits for fireworks displays at private events.
Additional safety protections
Increased safety and public protection measures include the following:
- The pyrotechnic operator in charge of the display must have state certification. See Penal Law section 405.00(2), General Business Law Article 28-D, and 12 NYCRR Part 61;
- Safety standards must be followed. See Penal Law section 405.00(3) and 12 NYCRR Part 61, adopting NFPA 1123 Code for Fireworks Display (2010 edition); and
- The minimum bond or insurance amount required by the permit authority is $1,000,000. See Penal Law section 405.00(4).
New York State certification requirements are administered and enforced by the Commissioner of Labor. The regulatory process places a single, state-certified pyrotechnician in charge of each display as the designated "operator." The operator is responsible for ensuring that the display conforms to the standards of NFPA 1123. The operator also must authorize and supervise everyone else who works on the display as "authorized assistants." (See 12 NYCRR sections 61-6.1(a) (definitions).) Authorized assistants who work under the supervision of the certified operator may also be certified pyrotechnicians. In this case, their certification also qualifies them to step in and assume the role of certified operator, if necessary.
Authorized assistants who are not certified pyrotechnicians can perform any task and assume any responsibility on the display, so long as they do so under the supervision of the certified operator. To qualify as an authorized assistant, an individual must be:
- at least 18 years old;
- trained in the performance of the tasks to be assigned, and;
- educated with regard to safety hazards.
The certified operator must confirm these qualifications are met before designating someone as an authorized assistant.
In considering the relationship between this regulatory process and the specific permitting requirements of Penal Law section 405.00, the Commissioner's regulations provide as follows:
- (g) Permits under Penal Law Section 405.00. Fireworks displays subject to the permitting requirements of Penal Law Section 405.00 may be conducted by a single certified operator, who shall ensure that a sufficient number of authorized assistants are available for the safe conduct of the fireworks display.
- (1) Applications for permits. Applications for permits under Penal Law Section 405.00 shall identify such certified operator together with any other certified pyrotechnicians who will be available to serve as the certified operator, as the persons actually in charge of the firing of the display, or the individuals authorized to fire the display, or both.
- (2) Firing the display. The firing of the display, as that term is used above and in Penal Law Section 405.00, shall refer to the actions of the certified operator in issuing a signal to start, or halt, the ignition of fireworks, but shall not include the actions of authorized assistants, including shooters, who ignite fireworks in response to such signal.
- (3) Second operator. The certified operator may designate an authorized assistant to serve as a second operator to comply with permits that require, pursuant to Penal Law Section 405.00, that there shall be two operators constantly on duty during the discharge of fireworks. The certified operator shall continue to supervise the authorized assistant who has been designated as a second operator.
Sample Pyrotechnic Permit Application that can be used by communities for accepting applications for Pyrotechnic displays.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the New York State Department of Labor's Licensing and Certification Unit at (518) 457-2735. You may also email [email protected] .