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Watch now: Most fireworks are illegal in Illinois. Here's what to know.
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Watch now: Most fireworks are illegal in Illinois. Here's what to know.

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Fireworks displays are being canceled thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. That worries the Illinois State Fire Marshal, who fears citizens may take the fireworks displays into their own hands.

"It is important to remember fireworks are dangerous and should only be used by someone who has a permit and the proper training," the office stated in a June release.

During the 2019 seasonal reporting period, Illinois health care facilities reported 126 people injured and one person killed due to fireworks from June 23 to July 20, 2019. Approximately half of all injured people suffered multiple injuries too.

With this in mind, here's a reminder of what you can and can't do in Illinois when it comes to fireworks.

What kind of fireworks can you use in your backyard?

The only kind of fireworks you can buy possess without a permit are "novelty" fireworks that can be found at grocery stores or gas stations.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal classifies fireworks into two categories: novelty fireworks and consumer fireworks.

Novelty fireworks are unregulated and permitted at all times. Those include "snake" pellets, smoke devices, "party poppers" or "snappers," sparklers and toy pistols/canes/guns.

The Illinois Pyrotechnic Use Act does give municipalities the authority to ban them, however, so you may want to check with your city or township.

What kind of fireworks can't you use on your own?

Consumer fireworks are not allowed for personal use, and only some are legal with a consumer display permit issued by local authorities.

According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, consumer fireworks are those purchased from a reputable fireworks retailer establishment or from a fireworks stand registered with the office. These fireworks are labeled with the words "1.4 Consumer Fireworks," which indicates it was manufactured appropriately and for non-professional use. These can only be sold to permit holders.

There are several types of consumer fireworks, but only some are allowed for displays. Those include cones, like "showers of sparks," fountains or repeaters (also called "cakes") and mines, comets, tubes, shells, "fancy florals" and parachutes.

What fireworks are totally prohibited in the state?

  • Hand held fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers of any size or type
  • Sky rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Chasers
  • Buzz bombs
  • Ground items other than those identified as Approved Consumer Fireworks
  • Helicopters
  • Missiles
  • Pin wheels or any other twirling device whether on the ground or mounted above the ground
  • Planes
  • Sky Lanterns, or the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to propel

What happens if I get caught using banned fireworks?

If police have reason to believe you are in possession of illegal fireworks, the fireworks will be confiscated and destroyed.

Violating the state's Pyrotechnic Use Act is a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries anywhere from a minimum fine of $75 to up to a year in prison.

Many local police agencies have spoken about the use of illegal fireworks this week as a reminder to the public.


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