© 2022 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Fire Officials Give Fireworks Safety Tips For Holiday Weekend

flickr user/Chris "Fireworks" (CC BY 2.0)

Independence Day weekend is almost here, which means some may want to celebrate with fireworks. But what is legal in Illinois, and what is safe?

State fire officials say hand-held fireworks – like roman candles and bottle rockets – are illegal in the state. Those who buy or use them could face up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

While novelty fireworks are legal, Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says they could still be dangerous.

“Sparklers – little things that typically people allow their children to play with and don’t worry about it – burn at about 1,200 degrees,” Perez said.

Which, Perez says, could be hot enough to melt glass.

Perez says party poppers that shoot confetti don’t get very hot and could be a better alternative to fireworks, along with noisemakers.

The National Fire Protection Association says about 8,600 people are treated for fireworks injuries every year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says a quarter of those are from legal sparklers.

Perez says about one-third of all Illinois hospitals reported having to treat firework injuries between June 23 and July 20, 2015.

Illinois fire officials also say those who transfer, purchase, use or possess display fireworks without a proper license or storage certificate are breaking the law. That could mean up to five years in prison or a $10,000 fine.