ALLENTOWN – With many preparing to celebrate Independence Day, PA Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego urged residents to take the necessary steps to protect their loved ones and property when it comes to fireworks. Fireworks start over 18,500 fires per year and cause an average of $43 million in direct property damage. Under state law, Pennsylvanians at least 18-years-old may purchase and use Class C, consumer-grade fireworks. Fireworks cannot be ignited or discharged on public or private property without permission of the property owner. They cannot be discharged from within a motor vehicle or building or discharged toward a motor vehicle or building. They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, whether or not a person is actually present. Local ordinances may include additional restrictions, so check with your municipality before purchasing or using Class C fireworks.Trego encouraged citizens to be mindful of neighbors and veterans who may have PTSD and people with pets when setting off fireworks.