IDNR Urges Public to Leave Fireworks Displays to Those who are Licensed and Trained
Published on June 27 2013 10:36 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding organizations and individuals sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois to be sure their fireworks vendor has the required state licenses and certificates issued by the IDNR prior to their fireworks show.
The Illinois Explosives Act requires that anyone who purchases, possesses, uses, transfers, stores or disposes of explosives, including display fireworks, must have an explosives license and explosives storage certificate issued by the IDNR. Licensing and storage requirements administered by the IDNR do not apply to consumer or personal fireworks (classified as 1.4 explosives) such as roman candles, bottle rockets or firecrackers.
“The Fourth of July is celebrated by many alongside family and friends and often by taking in professional fireworks displays throughout Illinois,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Display fireworks can be dangerous if not stored and handled properly. Only someone who is certified or licensed has the authority from the state to handle these types of explosives.”
The Illinois Explosives Act is administered by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals Blasting and Explosives Unit. This unit is staffed by trained and experienced blasting specialists located throughout Illinois. In addition to requiring comprehensive licensing, training and examination for individuals, the law requires that unattended display fireworks and explosives must be stored in an explosives magazine, storage facility or container that is inspected and certified by IDNR.
IDNR currently has 1,573 individuals licensed for the use of explosives in Illinois, of which 793 are for the use of display fireworks. There are 819 certified explosives storage magazines in Illinois, which contain nearly 90 million pounds of explosives. Of those storage magazines, 142 are certified specifically for the storage of display fireworks.
Anyone possessing, using, transferring or purchasing display fireworks without a valid IDNR individual explosives license or storage certificate is violating Illinois law and could incur penalties. A violation of the Illinois Explosives Act can be a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, the IDNR can assess administrative fines for violations involving display fireworks and other explosives. Emergency responders are reminded to contact IDNR immediately with reports of personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of explosives, including display fireworks.
For more information on the IDNR explosives regulatory program log on to www.dnr.state.il.us/mines/mst/index.htm . To report an explosives incident or accident, contact the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals Mine Safety and Training Explosives Unit at 217/782-9976.