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Fire Marshal: Know the Law for Fireworks

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June 30, 2014 — As many Hoosiers prepare to celebrate the July 4th holiday with fireworks displays, the Indiana State Fire Marshal is reminding residents to “know the law before you light the fuse.”

“Fireworks are a holiday tradition for many Hoosier families on the 4th of July. Indiana’s fireworks laws were created to help protect families and communities from the danger fireworks can present if not used properly,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued the following guidelines regarding state laws for fireworks:

Where Can Fireworks be Legally Discharged?

Fireworks may be discharged on the user’s property, the property of someone who has granted permission, or at locally-approved special discharge locations.  Remember, those setting off fireworks are still responsible for any property damaged by their fireworks even if they were discharged from a legal location. Keep that in mind when using bottle rockets, roman candles, or any other aerial fireworks.

When Can Fireworks be Used?

According to state law, fireworks may be discharged between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days other than holidays. On holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve) they can be discharged until midnight. On June 29-30, July 1-3 and 5-9, fireworks can be discharged until two hours past sunset.

Communities in Indiana may have ordinances in place that further restrict the days and hours in which fireworks can be used. Please contact local fire departments or local officials to find out what the restrictions are.

Who Can Use Fireworks?

Fireworks can only be purchased by persons 18 years of age and older.  Children may only possess or use fireworks when an adult is present and is responsible for the child’s conduct.  A person less than 18 years of age who possesses or uses fireworks without an adult present is committing a Class C infraction.

What Could Happen if Fireworks Laws are Violated?

  • Persons who use fireworks at any place other than their own property, someone else’s property with proper permission or a special discharge location, may face up to a $500 fine.
  • Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks that harm someone else is a criminal offense that may result in six months to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks that causes damage to someone else’s property is a criminal offense that may result in one year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Many local towns and cities have adopted their own rules and ordinances dealing with fireworks, and residents should always check with their local police department before purchasing or planning to use fireworks.

 

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