Fireworks and Flame Effects
Permits for firework displays are obtained from one of three sources.
- A permit may be obtained through the local fire official that has been appointed by the locality to administer and enforce the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
- If a locality has not appointed a local fire official to administer and enforce the Statewide Fire Prevention Code, a permit may be obtained from the locality through statutory authority granted to the locality by the following Code of Virginia section:
- § 15.2-974. Permits for display of fireworks; use and exhibitions. The governing bodies of the several counties, cities and towns shall have the power to provide for the issuance of permits for the display of fireworks by fair associations, amusement parks, or by any organization or group of individuals, under the minimum terms and conditions set forth in the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) and any additional terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the locality. Any association, organization, or group that has been issued a permit may purchase and make use of fireworks under the terms and conditions of such permit.
- For firework displays conducted on state-owned property or within state-owned buildings, permits are to be obtained through the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Other than for what occurs on state-owned property or within a state-owned building, the State Fire Marshal’s Office does not issue firework display permits for displays within any city, county or town.
While a permit is required for Flame Effects inside state-owned buildings and outdoors on state-owned property before a proximate audience, flame effect operators are not required to be certified by the SFPC and are not included as part of the Pyrotechnician certification program.
An application for permit to operate flame effects is provided below under “Forms”.
A permit is required for any bonfire that is conducted on state-owned property. A bonfire is an outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial purposes but does not in a “recreational fire”. A recreational fire is defined as “an outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.” All other outdoor fires may be viewed as a bonfire.
An application for permit to conduct a bonfire on state-owned property is provided below under “Forms”.
- Free Viewing of the complete set of Virginia Building and Fire Codes
- Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) on Pyrotechnician Certification Examination Service
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on the Virginia SFMO Pyrotechnician certification process
- SFMO Certified Pyrotechnicians List
- Virginia Firework Categories
- Policy Statement on Pyrotechnician Re-Certification Hours and Sources
- Local Amendments on 'Permissible Fireworks'
- Approved Permissible Fireworks List
- SFPC Application for BONFIRE
- SFPC Application for NFPA 160 Flame Effects Inside State-owned Buildings and Outdoors on State-owned Property Before a Proximate Audience
- SFPC Application for NFPA 1123 Display Fireworks (Aerial) on State-owned Property
- SFPC Application for NFPA 1126 Pyrotechnics Inside State-owned Buildings and Outdoors on State-owned Property Before a Proximate Audience
- Application for Background Clearance Card (BCC), Blaster or Pyrotechnician Certification
- Application for Replacement Certification or BCC Card
For more information on firework permits and Pyrotechnician certification, contact:
- State Fire Marshal,
- John Cullinane, 804-371-7270,
- Steven Sites, 540-317-7670,
- Or call our general office number: 804-371-0220