Indiana Daily Student

What to know about fireworks laws in Indiana

<p>Fireworks are set off from the Trades District July 3, 2018, in downtown Bloomington. Although Indiana has little restriction on fireworks, it is important to follow state and local laws and safety recommendations. 
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Fireworks are set off from the Trades District July 3, 2018, in downtown Bloomington. Although Indiana has little restriction on fireworks, it is important to follow state and local laws and safety recommendations.

With Independence Day coming up, many people will be celebrating with fireworks. Although Indiana has little restriction on fireworks, it is important to follow state and local laws and safety recommendations. 

Fireworks can be dangerous if handled incorrectly, causing burns, property damage and serious injury.

Tom Figolah, a fire prevention officer and community engagement officer at the Bloomington Fire Department, said fireworks can sometimes cause fires if they land on mulch or leaves. Last year, a house caught on fire and burned down from explosives that ignited leaves, according to Figolah. 

Figolah said people should always discharge fireworks from a distance and should never reignite a firework that didn’t originally go off. Trying it again can be dangerous because the wick is often shorter, increasing the risk of burns. 

“Once it fails, it fails,” he said.

As a prevention technique, Figolah said people should wet down the area with a bucket of water or hose before discharging fireworks. He also said to be careful when allowing children to use sparklers.

As an alternative, Figolah said children should use glow sticks, confetti poppers and colored streamers on sticks. 

Those celebrating Independence Day should also pay attention to state and local laws. Punishment for violation of the laws range from fines to time in jail. 

Indiana fireworks law

  • Only individuals 18 years or older can buy fireworks.

  • Fireworks can be used on holidays from 9-12 a.m, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m on all other days. 

  • Fireworks should be used only on personal property or special discharge locations. To use fireworks on other properties, the individual must obtain permission from the owners. 

  • Fireworks must be consumer fireworks, a type of firework made to be quieter and less powerful for the public to use. 

Monroe County restrictions

  • The county restricts fireworks between 5 p.m and 2 hours after sunset, usually a little after 9 p.m., from June 29 until July 4 and July 5 to July 9. On July 4, fireworks can be discharged between 10 a.m. and midnight. 

  • Fireworks are also allowed between 10 a.m. and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. 

  • Not following these laws can result in a noise ordinance violation ticket. 

Penalties

  • Violation of state firework law can result in a class C infraction, punishable by fine.  

  • Intentionally reckless use of fireworks that result in property damage can result in a class A misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine of $5,000.

  • If there is bodily injury, the individual will be charged with a Level 6 felony with six months to two and a half years in prison. 

  • An incident resulting in death receives a Level 5 felony, which can be up to six years in prison. 

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