As you gear up to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, it’s important to keep safety in mind to protect yourself, your family and others around you. Muscatine Fire Department has tips to help keep you safe so you can enjoy the holiday.
While it is fun to watch fireworks at the Muscatine riverfront each year, attempting to create a fireworks display at home is both illegal and unsafe. Anything beyond the usual sparklers, snakes and caps are not allowed by state code. Anyone using them would be subject state law consequences (which include tickets, etc.) as well as City Fire Code violations. City Fire Code violations include a $125 citation.
Safety Tips for Using Sparklers: Even though sparklers, snakes and caps are legal, there is still danger in using them. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, sparklers alone account for more than 1/4 of emergency room fireworks injuries. Sparklers can burn hotter than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third degree burns. They may seem safe for children to use, but like other fireworks, they can be very dangerous.
- If allowed to hold sparklers, children should be under adult supervision.
- Leather gloves may be used to protect hands while lighting and holding sparklers.
- Always stand up when holding sparklers.
- Do not allow children under age five to hold sparklers. Glow sticks can be a safer alternative for younger children.
- Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person. Give an unlit sparkler to the person and then light it.
- Never use a sparkler while holding a baby or small child.
- Do not wave or run with lit sparklers.
- Avoid bringing sparklers to large public events as it could pose a safety risk.
- Overall, please exercise caution and use common sense.
Code of Iowa Chapter 727 Health, Safety and Welfare 727.2 Fire Works
The term “fireworks” includes any explosive composition, or combination of explosive substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, or other fireworks of like construction and fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or other device containing any explosive substance. The term “fireworks” does not include goldstar-producing sparklers on wires which contain no magnesium or chlorate or perchlorate, flitter sparklers in paper tubes that do not exceed one-eighth of an inch in diameter, toy snakes which contain no mercury, or caps used in cap pistols.
A person, firm, copartnership, or corporation who offers for sale, exposes for sale, sells at retail, or uses or explodes any fireworks, commits a serious misdemeanor. However, the council of a city or a county board of supervisors may, upon application in writing, grant a permit for the display of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals approved by the city or the county board of supervisors when the fireworks display will be handled by a competent operator, but no such permit shall be required for the display of fireworks at the Iowa state fairgrounds by the Iowa state fair board, at incorporated county fairs, or at district fairs receiving state aid. Sales of fireworks for such display may be made for that purpose only.
This section does not prohibit the sale by a resident, dealer, manufacturer, or jobber of such fireworks as are not prohibited by this section, or the sale of any kind of fireworks if they are to be shipped out of the state, or the sale or use of blank cartridges for a show or the theater, or for signal purposes in athletic sports or by railroads or trucks, for signal purposes, or by a recognized military organization.
This section does not apply to any substance or composition prepared and sold for medicinal or fumigation purposes.
For more information about firework safety, please visit:
- Iowa Department of Public Safety: State Fire Marshall Division
- National Fire Protection Association
- The National Council on Firework Safety