Wednesday, June 23


Illinois fireworks display standards

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[JUNE 23, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Individuals and organizations sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois should make sure their fireworks vendor has the required state license and certificate regulating the storage and use of display fireworks, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold said Tuesday.

"We want to make sure that fireworks displays are safe for all involved, whether they are in celebration of the Fourth of July or another time," Brunsvold said. "The Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals Blasting and Explosives Division, in administering the Illinois Explosives Act, works with individuals, local governments, businesses, civic groups and others hosting fireworks displays to make sure fireworks vendors abide by the law and make safety their first priority."

Illinois law requires that anyone who purchases, possesses, uses, transfers or disposes of explosives, including display fireworks, must be licensed by the Department of Natural Resources. Individuals or companies storing display fireworks must have an explosives magazine, storage facility or container that is certified by the department. A total of 134 storage certificates have been issued this year for fireworks.

State licensing requirements apply to display fireworks, not consumer or personal fireworks such as roman candles, bottle rockets or firecrackers. The display fireworks seen in commercial displays are usually aerial shells containing more than two grains (.004572 of 1 ounce) of explosive material composition.

"Hosts or sponsors of fireworks shows should also check with their county or municipal government regarding county or local ordinances and regulations governing fireworks displays," Brunsvold said.


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Display fireworks and consumer fireworks are classified as hazardous materials for transportation purposes. Fireworks classified as explosives under Illinois Department of Transportation regulations must be handled and transported according to those requirements. Shippers and carriers of hazardous materials must be trained and must comply with proper marking, labeling, placarding and packaging standards. They must also carry proper documents describing the fireworks being transported and what to do in case of emergency.

In addition, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requires that anyone transporting or receiving display fireworks in either interstate or intrastate commerce obtain a permit from the bureau.

Severe penalties may be imposed for violations of the Illinois Explosives Act. Anyone possessing, using, transferring or purchasing display fireworks without a valid Illinois license or storage certificate may be prosecuted. A violation of the Illinois Explosives Act is a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 criminal fine. In addition, the Department of Natural Resources can assess administrative fines up to $5,000 for violations involving display fireworks and other explosives.

For more information on the Illinois Explosives Act and its provisions regarding display fireworks, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and Minerals, Blasting and Explosives Division, at (217) 782-9976.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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