Ringing in the New Year with fireworks is a popular tradition for Hoosiers. The Indiana State Fire Marshal, part of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, is offering tips for Hoosiers to celebrate safely.
State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said handling fireworks can be dangerous, so only sober adults should handle them. Do not allow children to handle, play with or light fireworks without adult supervision. Do not allow young children to handle fireworks at all.
In 2015, more than 1/3 of all reported firework-related injuries involved individuals 18 years of age and younger. The youngest injured person was only a year old, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).
Here are some tips to follow for safe fireworks use:
- Use a clear, open area and keep the audience a safe distance from the ignition site.
- Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks device.
- Only purchase and light 1.4G consumer fireworks. Examples include bottle rockets, Roman candles and fire crackers. Packaging should read 1.4G.
- Only light one firework item at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
- Have a fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Use extreme caution when lighting fireworks in the wind. Ignition sites should be positioned so the wind moves smoke and other fireworks materials away from spectators.
- Never drink alcoholic beverages or smoke while handling fireworks.
- Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Sparklers are often thought of as more tame fireworks, but they burn at extremely hot temperatures; from 1200 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
When purchasing fireworks, only buy legal fireworks from legitimate sellers. It is important to follow Indiana fireworks laws:
- Fireworks can be purchased only by persons 18 years of age or older.
- Fireworks may be used:
- On the user’s property;
- On the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks on that property;
- At a special discharge location designated by a local community. Not every community designates an area to set off fireworks.
- Consumer fireworks may be used only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days that are not holidays. On holidays such as New Year’s Eve, fireworks may be used between 9 a.m. and midnight. Check with local officials to see when fireworks can be discharged as local ordinances may further restrict usage.
- Following these guidelines does not absolve a user of fireworks from legal responsibility for damage to another person or their property.
If a fireworks retailer is not displaying, and is unable to provide a copy of its permit, citizens can call the IDHS Division of Fire and Building Safety at 317-232-2222.