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

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For immediate release:  
July 8, 2017


Fireworks Sales Season Ends Saturday, July 8
Safe Storage and Transport Encouraged

-- The sales period for the retail sales of consumer fireworks will end at midnight on July 8, 2017.  Consumer fireworks can again be sold starting December 10 through January 3, but only from permanent buildings.

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.

State Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle continues to urge everyone to think Safety First when it comes to fireworks, including storage of unused fireworks.  “Remember that these fireworks are made from black powder (gunpowder) and they can explode or burn.”

The State Fire Marshal makes several recommendations for storing small quantities of consumer fireworks:
  • Do not store fireworks in a home, or any place where people live and sleep.  A locked storage shed, away from the home, is a safer option.
  • Keep all stored fireworks away from open flames, fireplaces, stoves, or near any flammable material.
  • Clearly mark all containers to show that the box contains fireworks.
  • Leave the fireworks in the original packaging, which includes directions for use and an expiration date.
  • Do not put the fireworks in a cardboard or paper container.  Instead, use a plastic or metal container with a secure lid.
  • Do not store fireworks in the open.  They can be damaged, or they can be misused by children or others who could be put at risk.  Store the fireworks in a secure area.
  • Keep stored fireworks dry, in order to protect their properties.
  • Keep stored fireworks away from children.
  • Do not store fireworks near an exit that might be used to escape from a fire.
  • Keep an operational fire extinguisher near the stored fireworks.

Federal standards limit the shipment of large quantities of fireworks: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/Safety_Guidance_for_Shipping_Consumer_Fireworks.pdf

The State Fire Marshal also makes several recommendations for transportation of small quantities of consumer fireworks:

  • Transport fireworks in a spark-proof container, such as a plastic container.
  • Do not store fireworks in direct sunlight.
  • Never, ever light a firework in or near a vehicle.
  • Do not store fireworks in a hot car.
  • Never, ever smoke near fireworks, or while handling fireworks.
  • Do not keep fireworks within reach of children in a vehicle.
  • Airlines and public transportation vehicles do not allow passengers to carry fireworks.

Federal regulations also apply to the transportation of larger quantities of consumer fireworks:

Additional information about storage of consumer fireworks is online, through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): 

Safety issues also are addressed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: 

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

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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