The sale and consumption of consumer fireworks was recently approved in the state of Iowa. Whatever side of the new law you’re on, firework sales are now allowed between June 1 and July 8 each year, and from December 10 to January 3. Consumer fireworks include such things as roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and ground spinners. Previously, the only fireworks that were legal in Iowa were novelties such as sparklers, caps and snakes.
Unfortunately, this new law will create opportunities for kids to hurt themselves and be put in harm’s way. According to studies conducted by the Pediatric Academic Societies, over 90,000 pediatric fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals from 2006 to 2012. These ranged from minor burns to loss of vision to amputation of limbs. Despite these sobering statistics, Iowa lawmakers decided to weaken fireworks restrictions.
Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
- The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
- If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
Be Extra Careful with Sparklers
- Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
- Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Take Necessary Precautions
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances
Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
Fireworks Use by City
Several Central Iowa cities have either banned or restricted the use of consumer fireworks within city limits.
Altoona – New fireworks ordinance will be discussed by City Council on Monday, June 19th.
Ankeny – Consumer fireworks can be shot on July 4th from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Clive – No consumer fireworks can be shot off.
Des Moines – Consumer fireworks can be shot off on July 4th from 4:00 to 10:00 pm.
Grimes – Consumer fireworks can be shot off July 1st to 8th from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Indianola – Only class 2 fireworks can be used. All other consumer fireworks are banned and cannot be shot off.
Johnston – No consumer fireworks can be shot off.
Urbandale – No consumer fireworks can be shot off.
Waukee – Consumer fireworks can be shot off June 30th to July 8th from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays (including Fridays), and from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on July 4th, Saturdays and Sundays.
West Des Moines – Consumer fireworks can be shot off on July 4th from 4:00 to 10:00 pm.
Keep your families safe this 4th of July holiday and make sure your children are aware of the dangers of fireworks.