The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has compiled the following list of safety guidelines designed to advise owners of retail sales establishments and other affected employers of some procedures to enhance employee safety during the retail sale of consumer fireworks. It is important to understand that the accidental ignition and fire prevention measures should be followed to ensure a safe retail environment. Employers are encouraged to follow these or other more protective safety guidelines for the retail sale of consumer fireworks. These safety guidelines do not supersede any regulatory requirements adopted at the Federal, State, or local levels.
- Fireworks Safety - Retail Fireworks Sales. OSHA and American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Alliance Publication 3248, (2005). Also available as a Poster or a Pocket Card.
General Guidelines for all sales venues
[Safety Guidelines for Retail Sales of Consumer Fireworks. OSHA, (June 2004).]
- Obtain all necessary state and local permits, licenses, and inspections.
- Post and enforce no smoking within 50 feet of fireworks sales areas.
- Post and enforce no fireworks discharge within 300 feet of fireworks retail sales facilities and stores.
- Maintain clear exit routes with a minimum of two ways out from every point.
- Exit doors:
- should not be locked when occupied;
- should swing outward;
- should not be obstructed; and
- should have panic hardware if they latch (except for temporary stands).
- Fire extinguishers should be operational and accessible. At least one should be a water type.
- Secure (lock) the facility when closed and fireworks remain.
- Remove damaged fireworks and loose pyrotechnic composition promptly and dispose of properly. Use non-sparking cleaning tools; not vacuum cleaners.
- Maintain fixed fire protection features (i.e., keep fire doors closed).
- Maintain required flame breaks in the retail sales displays unless the facility is sprinklered or temporary.
- Maintain visual supervision of the fireworks sales area.
- Do not store combustibles directly above fireworks displays unless properly separated.
- Do not use open flames or heating devices with exposed elements.
- Participate in safety training.
- Aerial devices and audible ground devices require special attention and treatment. See National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1124, Sections 7.10.5 (4) and 7.10.6.
Consumer fireworks retail sales facilities and stores (except temporary stands)
- Post an evacuation plan and understand how to implement it in an emergency.
- Maintain aisles with a minimum 48 inches of clear width.
- Maintain safe display arrangements not exceeding 6 feet in height except around the perimeter of the retail sales area which can not exceed 12 feet.
- Ensure all fireworks displayed for sale have fuses which are covered or are contained in packaging.
- Know the location of manual pull stations and/or public address system controls and how to use them to sound a fire alarm.
- Check emergency lighting to see that it is functional.
- Check for exit signs: location, visibility, and illumination.
- Verify that there are at least three ways out of the fireworks sales areas (except one-story stores not exceeding 3,000 square feet can have two).
Consumer fireworks retail sales facilities only
- Keep combustible debris at least 30 feet away from the facility.
- Don't park vehicles within 10 feet of the facility.
- Keep portable generators and their fuels at least 20 feet away from the facility.
Temporary stands* only
- Maintain aisles with a minimum 28 inches of clear width.
- Maintain a safe display arrangement of consumer fireworks not to exceed 8 feet in height.
- Do not allow the public into the temporary stand.
- Verify there are at least two exit doors (doorways) that swing out.
- Verify that no open flame cooking is located within 50 feet of tents (20 feet for other types of cooking).
- Exit opening must be 44 inches wide.
For additional information on general safety and health concerns, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages on:
- Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
- Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Fire Safety
- Hazard Communication
- Medical and First Aid
*NOTE: Venues are defined in 1124, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).