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Fireworks Safety

By Kaitlyn Van Maanen, Marketing Specialist


Summer is upon us, and we are ready to celebrate Independence Day! For many people this means barbecues, parades, campfires, and more! One of the most exciting things that many look forward to this time of year is fireworks! Iowa Legislature signed a law in 2017 that made the possession and use of fireworks to the untrained citizen, legal.

Photo: Fireworks
Text: On average, 243 people go to the emergency room every day with firework-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July.

In Iowa, it is legal to purchase fireworks at the following places during the summer:

  • Permanent Buildings may begin sales on June 1.
  • Tents or temporary structures may begin sales on June 13.
  • All sales must end July 8.

Although legal for citizens, it is important to know what days and time of day it is legal to set-off fireworks.

Iowa permits the use of fireworks on private property:

  • From 9 AM to 10 PM
  • June 1 through July 8

*Before using fireworks, check to see if your local ordinances have stricter laws than what the state allows.

To ensure that your fireworks show goes off without an injury follow these tips:

Photo: sparkler
Text: Sparklers are the primary source of injury for children under five. Always supervise your children when allowing them to use sparklers and fireworks.

Keep your children safe.

Fireworks can be dangerous and unpredictable. When lighting off fireworks, make sure that everyone is aware of their surroundings, especially children. Although children may want to experience the excitement of lighting off a firework, it is very unsafe for them to handle these explosives. 

Photo: Silhouette of a family holding American flags
Text: 65% of all fireworks injuries are to bystanders. Be aware of your surroundings when igniting fireworks.

Distance yourself.

When lighting off fireworks, make sure that everyone is a safe distance away. Make sure that everyone around knows that you are going to light a firework, so in the case of a disaster, everyone is ready to react.

Buy the right type of fireworks.

When purchasing fireworks, only buy fireworks that you are comfortable with. Make sure that the fireworks are for consumer use and not professional use.

Photo: American Flag with a sparkler
Text: Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. Always make sure you are igniting fireworks off in a clear area.

Be conscious of your surroundings.

July can be a very dry time of the year. Be aware of a dry lawn or landscaping that could easily catch on fire. If a firework continues to burn after being ignited, douse it with water to extinguish the flame and prevent a large fire from starting. Only light fireworks off in clear open spaces.

Don’t mess with duds.

If a firework does not work properly, do not approach it immediately. Never try to relight this firework. If you do have a dud, let the firework cool off and dispose of it. 

Storing unused fireworks.

At the end of the firework season, make sure you store your unused fireworks properly. Fireworks must be stored in a cool, dry area. Make sure that this area is not near an ignition source such as a heater. This will allow for your fireworks to be ready for next season!

When taking the proper precautions, a firework show can be fun for everyone. Be a good neighbor when planning to launch fireworks and make sure that your neighbors are aware so they can plan accordingly. Fireworks are loud and disruptive and may upset pets, children, or those with PTSD.

Peoples Insurance wants you to stay safe!

Stay safe this 4th of July when lighting off fireworks! Make sure you, your loved ones, and your possessions are covered this holiday by contacting your local Peoples Insurance agent! Our agents offer local expertise and can help you select which coverage option is right for you. Contact one of our seven locations in Rock Valley, Lester, Sioux Center, Akron, Sheldon, Hawarden, Iowa, and Jasper, MN.

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