With fireworks season underway, the State Fire Marshal is reminding all Hoosiers to be aware of fireworks laws when celebrating.
“Hoosiers using fireworks this summer need to be both safe and legal when doing so,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Responsible use of fireworks will help contribute to safe and enjoyable celebration.”
Both fireworks users and fireworks retailers selling to the public need to abide by the law. Retailers must hold a permit through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Fire and Building Safety Division, which is overseen by the State Fire Marshal. Retailers may only sell 1.4G and Section 8(a) fireworks, and only to those 18 years of age and older.
Hoosiers should carefully review the following laws before setting off fireworks:
When Can Fireworks Be Used?
Throughout the Year:
Throughout the year it is legal to set off fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but this may be limited further by local ordinances. Citizens should check with local officials.
On state holidays it is legal to set off fireworks from 9 a.m. to midnight, but this may be limited further by local ordinances.
Specially Designated Times:
The times on the following dates are protected for consumer use of fireworks and may not be prohibited by local ordinance:
· June 29-July 3: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset;
· July 4: from 10 a.m. to midnight.
· July 5-July 9: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset; and
· December 31: from 10:00 a.m. to midnight.
Please note that the times not listed on these dates may still be limited by local ordinances.
Where Can Fireworks Be Used?
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 identified special discharge locations. Not all communities designate a special discharge location.
Please note that a person who sets off fireworks, even in a legal location, may still be held liable for any resulting injuries or damage caused to another person or property.
What Can Happen If Fireworks Laws Are Broken?
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.
State Fire Marshal Releases Firework Safety Video
With Independence Day just around the corner, Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson has produced a video of safety tips to follow when handling fireworks and sparklers this holiday season. The video can be found online at http://bit.ly/2unbeSX.
In 2016, 72 percent of all reported fireworks-related injuries in Indiana occurred from July 1-7. More than 40 percent of the fireworks related injuries in 2016 involved individuals 18 years of age and younger.
The State Fire Marshal oversees the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety.
For more fireworks safety tips, visit www.GetPrepared.in.gov. Contact local officials for more information on local ordinances and fireworks limitations.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Homeland Security