"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
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
"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.
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.
Department of Natural Resources