Fireworks season has arrived, and the State Fire Marshal is reminding all Hoosiers to be mindful of fireworks laws when celebrating this summer.
“Fireworks can be very entertaining to watch, but there are laws in place that are often overlooked when it comes to their usage,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “We want for everyone to enjoy their summer, but we also want them to do so responsibly.”
Hoosiers should remember the following laws when setting off fireworks:
The person setting off fireworks could be liable for damage on any property.
Fireworks may only be set off on the user’s property, on the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks or at locally-mandated special discharge locations. Not all communities designate a special discharge location.
Throughout the year, fireworks may only be used between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. Local ordinance may limit this further.
No local limitations may be placed holidays and specially designated days listed below.
Specially designated days for fireworks use are June 29 through July 3 and July 5 through 9.
On those days, fireworks may be used between 9 a.m. until two hours after sunset.
On holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve), fireworks may be used between 9 a.m. and midnight.
There are penalties that come with breaking the laws regarding fireworks. Here are a few examples:
A person using fireworks anywhere other than the three previously listed places could face a maximum fine of $500 per infraction.
Damaging someone else’s property with fireworks could result in a fine of $5,000 as well as one year imprisonment. Restitution costs to the property owner may also be assessed.
Someone recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks and causing the serious injury or death of someone else could face imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Anyone under the age of 18 possessing or using fireworks without the presence of an adult could face a fine of $500 per infraction.
Not only do fireworks users need to abide by laws, but so do fireworks retailers who sell to the public, who may only sell 1.4G consumer fireworks.
Dealers must hold a permit through Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Fire and Building Safety Division, which is overseen by the State Fire Marshal.
No one younger than 18 may purchase fireworks.
For more information on local ordinances and fireworks limitations, contact local officials.
Fireworks Related Injuries Major Concern
Each year, more firework-related injuries are reported on Independence Day than any other day.
“Having more knowledge on fireworks safety and taking smart precautions when handling fireworks can lead to safer celebrations,” said Greeson. “Fireworks make the holiday exciting, but Hoosiers need to remain vigilant about firework safety.”
Last year, 181 firework-related injuries were reported to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the highest number of firework-related injuries since 2006. According to media reports, two Indiana residents died in 2015 due to firework-related injuries.
Greeson said children should never be allowed to handle, play with or light any types of fireworks. He also suggested that glow sticks are a safer alternative to traditional sparklers, especially for younger children.
Here are some more fireworks safety tips:
Use a clear, open area and keep the audience at a safe distance from the shooting site.
Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks or fireworks device.
Only light one firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
Have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose or bucket of water nearby.
Never smoke or consume alcohol when lighting fireworks.
Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.
For more fireworks safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.