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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  
June 13, 2017


Number of Licensed Fireworks Sites Expanding

-- Licensed fireworks sales in temporary structures can begin today, under the new Iowa law.  Sales from permanent structures have been allowed since June 1.

The State Fire Marshal reports that hundreds of fireworks licenses have been issued, and more applications are being processed.  The current numbers include 274 licenses that have been issued for the sale of consumer fireworks, and 14 wholesalers that have registered.  The list of licensed sites and their locations is posted to the State Fire Marshal’s website, at http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/building/licensing/Fireworks/CF-Licensed-Sites.pdf

The State Fire Marshal’s staff are working hard to process the applications and issue licenses, and are continuing to receive information to create new user accounts daily.  To help answer some of the common questions from license applicants and the public, a list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) has also been posted to the State Fire Marshal’s website: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/building/licensing/Fireworks/FAQ.pdf

All sales end on July 8.

“We thank the fireworks sellers for their patience with us as we have started a program from the ground up, in matter of a few short weeks. We appreciate their professionalism in the submission of site plans, and their flexibility as we have adapted to a newly developed online process,” said Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle.  “Just as importantly, we also thank our fire service partners in local departments who have helped us, and will continue to help us, with site inspections at the local level,” Fire Marshal Quigle said.

“Our local fire service partners also play an important role in safety at the community level,” Quigle added.  “There is nothing more important than safety, to the fire service and to all Iowans.”

Iowa law sets safety standards for the sale of fireworks. The use of fireworks is subject to the authority of the local city or county jurisdiction.

“We all speak with one voice when it comes to safe and responsible use of fireworks,” said Fire Marshal Quigle.  “The Fourth of July is a happy time for families and communities to come together to celebrate our freedoms.  We ask that fireworks be used responsibly and safely in all of those gatherings. Our local fire service partners join us in providing practical advice about safety,” he said.

“Consumer fireworks have lower levels of pyro-chemical material than display fireworks, which Iowans have enjoyed at community celebrations for many years,” he said.  “Often, the fire service is directly involved in those elaborate displays, with safety as their first priority.  Even though consumer fireworks have a lower level of pyro-chemical material, they still have the potential to do serious harm to individuals who use them irresponsibly. What makes the fireworks look pretty is the same thing that makes them dangerous.  We ask that everyone listen carefully to the safety messages from our office, from local fire departments, from the responsible fireworks sellers, from the medical community that must treat injuries, and from others who put safety first,” Fire Marshal Quigle said.

Safety information is available on the State Fire Marshal’s website: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/building/licensing/consumerfireworksindex.shtml

Sales of consumer fireworks are allowed between June 1 and July 8 each year, and from December 10 to January 3.  Temporary stands can be used for consumer fireworks sales between June 13 and July 8.

The online portal allows fireworks wholesalers to register in Iowa, so that they can provide consumer fireworks to retail sellers.  Information about the licensing and registration appears online: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/building/licensing/consumerfireworksindex.shtml

The online licensing and registration program implements Senate File 489, which was signed into law on May 9, 2017.  The new law allows for the sale of consumer fireworks by persons or companies licensed by the State Fire Marshal.  Any restrictions on the use of fireworks are determined by city and county officials.  Emergency Administrative Rules are available online: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/law/administrativeRules/emergencyDocs

Consumer fireworks include such things as roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and ground spinners.  Previously, the only fireworks that were legal in Iowa were novelties such as sparklers, caps and snakes. Iowa joins 43 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing the sale of consumer fireworks.

Display fireworks are the pyrotechnics that municipalities and businesses use for large-scale public displays – require licensed operators to discharge the fireworks show.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulates the use of display fireworks.  City and county officials also may restrict or prohibit the use of display fireworks.



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