As the Fourth of July approaches, it is important to remember that in Illinois all fireworks are illegal unless authorized by local jurisdiction permits for supervised public displays. The term fireworks does not include sparklers, smoke devices, snake and glow worm pellets, trick noisemaker, and most forms of toy pistols using plastic or paper caps. But even these seemingly harmless devices can be dangerous; misuse of them by children can create dangerous situations.
Sparklers, for example, reach temperatures of up to 1800 degrees F and remain hot enough to cause serious burns even after they are extinguished. Fireworks are also especially dangerous for children because they entice children to play with matches.
The burns from fireworks can be intense, and they can scar for life. Fireworks can cause injuries other than burns by exploding and affecting the hands, body or eyes. One of every three fireworks injuries is to the eyes. One of every four fireworks eye injuries means some kind of permanent blindness.
For the best possible fireworks safety, leave these dangerous devices to professionals. Attend only licensed public fireworks displays.
It's important to note that several well-known types of fireworks, such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles, are not allowed in Illinois under the new regulations.
Use fireworks outdoors only.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
Always have water handy (a hose or bucket).
Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
Never relight a dud firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated shooter.
Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety invites you to celebrate our nation's heritage on the Fourth of July, but celebrate safely.