It’s getting to be fireworks time (but not after 10 p.m. in Concord)

  • Fireworks light up the sky above Memorial Field in Concord on Monday, July 4, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • Fireworks light up the sky above Memorial Field in Concord on Monday, July 4, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor staff
Published: 6/28/2022 5:07:28 PM

New Hampshire has long been a haven for fireworks, as frustrated Massachusetts pyrotechnic fans know, but with July 4th approaching it’s a good time to remember that there are limits. Here are a few:

■In Concord, fireworks can’t be set off between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., a curfew imposed in recent years following complaints from sleep-deprived neighborhoods. There are such thing as “silent fireworks” – which aren’t actually silent but are much quieter than traditional fireworks – but they appear to be limited to large-scale displays. If they exist in what are legally known as Class C, or consumer, fireworks then you’ve got to hunt for them.

■Concord forbids fireworks at parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities. (It also forbids slingshots and “missile propelling instruments or explosives” there, in case you were wondering.)

■Many towns have their own restrictions on fireworks. Call your town hall or police department if you’re unsure.

■Under state law, you’ve got to be at least 21 years old to buy fireworks or even set them off, although it’s fair to say that the second part of that law is frequently broken. Fireworks can only be purchased from a licensed retailer, of which there are more than 20 in New Hampshire, according to state figures.

■You must be the property owner or have written permission from the property owner to light off fireworks. As an incentive to follow this law, the Department of Justice notes in a press release that people “can be held liable for damages to another’s property.  In other words, you can be sued for using fireworks on property that is not yours.”

■Local fire departments can limit the use of fireworks when there is a high danger of wildfires but that is not the case this year anywhere in the Concord region. Nonetheless, don’t set them off near structures and have a fire extinguisher or hose on hand, just in case.

■You can’t set off cherry bombs or M-80’s. They’re illegal under federal law – too dangerous. But pretty much anything else is legal in New Hampshire, which has loosened restrictions in recent years. That includes bottle rockets and reloadable mortars, which were illegal here a few years back.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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