Fireworks are classified according to federal law, but there are only a few federal laws that apply to their use at the consumer level, such as a total ban on M-80s and cherry bombs as consumer fireworks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulate professional fireworks, along with the manufacturing and transportation of consumer fireworks.
For the most part, though, consumer fireworks are regulated by a complex mix of state and local laws. Provided here is an overview of state fireworks laws across the Midwest (IN, IL, MI, WI). Also check with your local authorities if you have any doubts or concerns, as some local ordinances are more stringent than state laws. In addition, state laws are always subject to change. Ultimately, you are responsible for ensuring that your fireworks display is legal in your state and local area.
The majority of Indiana state fireworks laws are geared toward professional display fireworks. Consumer fireworks require the purchaser to be at least 18 years of age, and may only be used between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on non-holidays. On holidays, consumer fireworks may be launched between 9 a.m. and midnight. Indiana does not specifically ban any consumer fireworks that are properly regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Illinois strictly regulates consumer fireworks. There are specific bans on all forms of handheld fireworks, as well as bottle rockets, skyrockets, roman candles, and firecrackers. Buzz bombs, chasers, helicopters, missiles, pin wheels, planes, and torpedoes are also banned by state law.
Just because a type of firework is not specifically banned, though, does not mean that it is allowed. Under state law, novelty items including snakes and glow worms are specifically permitted, along with sparklers, smoke devices, and certain noisemakers known as party poppers, booby traps, or snappers. Beyond these specifically allowed effects, the state fire marshal releases a list each year of approved consumer fireworks.
You must attend a Consumer Fireworks Safety class each year in order to purchase or launch consumer fireworks. These classes are administered by local authorities, and some locales require a criminal background check to enroll. You must also apply for a display permit at least 15 days in advance, and have your site inspected by the local fire department. Some locales also require you to carry insurance for your display.
Michigan has very few regulations on the purchase or use of consumer fireworks, though sales are highly regulated. Purchasers must be at least 18 years of age, and may not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All federally allowed consumer fireworks are permitted by state law, though it is important to check with your local authorities for any additional regulations. You must obtain express permission to launch fireworks on any public or private property.
Wisconsin maintains a strict list of specifically banned consumer fireworks, along with a strict list of those that are specifically permitted. Speak to your state authorities if you are unclear as to whether a specific type of firework is allowed. Also note that local ordinances might ban certain fireworks that are permitted by state law.
In Wisconsin, the following fireworks are specifically allowed:
- cylinder fountains
- cone fountains
- small smoke devices
- snakes that contain no mercury
- sparklers that contain no magnesium, chlorate or perchlorate
The following fireworks are specifically banned:
- aerial salutes
- roman candles
Consumer fireworks are primarily regulated at the state and local levels. Although the laws can be confusing, it is very important to make sure you are following them precisely. If you have any questions or concerns, always speak to your state and local officials before purchasing or launching fireworks. This is especially important when ordering fireworks through the mail, as the laws in your state might vary significantly from the laws in the supplier’s state, and when purchasing from a retailer you don’t already know and trust to follow the law. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with the law.
At Dynamite Fireworks, we don’t only sell top-quality, name-brand fireworks. We also provide the information you need to know to use them responsibly, legally, and safely. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (219) 937-4090. We look forward to becoming your one-stop shop for all your fireworks needs!