INDIANA — With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, Hoosiers should be aware of certain state laws and safety tips before utilizing fireworks.
Certain fireworks laws are in place for the State of Indiana but it’s also important to check local ordinances for any fireworks limitations that might exist in the area.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security shared the following information regarding state fireworks laws:
- Throughout the year, it is technically 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.
- The times on the following dates are protected in Indiana for consumer use of fireworks and may not be prohibited by local ordinance:
- June 29 to July 3: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset;
- July 4: from 10 a.m. to midnight;
- July 5 to July 9: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset;
- December 31: from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Fireworks can only be purchased by persons 18 years of age or older.
- Fireworks use is limited to personal property, the property of someone who has approved the use of fireworks or a location designated specifically for the use of consumer fireworks.
IDHS officials report that proper fireworks safety can help keep festivities going longer and protect spectators from injury. Some safety tips shared on behalf of the IDHS include:
- Use extreme caution when lighting fireworks in the wind. Keep spectators where the wind is blowing smoke and debris away from them.
- Never smoke or consume alcohol when lighting fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
- Steer clear of others setting off fireworks. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
- Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks or firework devices.
- Always have a fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water, nearby.
- Only light one firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
- After a firework has finished burning, douse it with plenty of water before throwing it away to
- prevent starting a trash fire.
- Be considerate of individuals with PTSD and other types of medical conditions. The noise can cause severe stress and reaction in neighbors.
- Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by fireworks sounds.
Officials at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security also want people to be aware of the dangers associated with using fireworks. They shared injury statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual fireworks report for 2019.
- There were an estimated 7,300 fireworks injuries treated at hospital emergency departments nationwide between June 21 and July 21 (about 10,000 total for the whole year).
- Seventy-three percent of all reported firework injuries occurred between June 21 and July 21.
- Most fireworks injuries were sustained by males (66 percent).
- About half of the estimated emergency department-treated fireworks injuries happened to people younger than 20 years old, and 36 percent of fireworks injuries were to children younger than 15 years old.
- Injuries due to sparklers accounted for about 900 trips to the emergency room; firecrackers, 800; and bottle rockets, 400.
- The most common body parts injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), legs (23 percent), eyes (15 percent) and head, face and ears (15 percent).
- About 58 percent of fireworks injuries were burns.
Due to the dangers listed above and increased risk for starting a fire, the National Fire Protection Association strongly advises against individuals using consumer fireworks. They encourage people to find alternative activities to show patriotism and to attend professional displays when they’re available.
However, if you do choose to use consumer fireworks, be sure to abide by the IDHS’s safety tips and follow all state and local fireworks laws.