The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding individuals and organizations sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois to be sure their fireworks vendor has the required state licenses and certificates issued by the IDNR and the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) 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 Fireworks (classified as 1.4 explosives). Approved Consumer Fireworks are regulated by the OSFM and are permitted only in villages, counties and municipalities that have passed ordinances allowing such displays. Consumer fireworks may be purchased and displayed only by adults who have obtained permits from their local jurisdiction. Hand held fireworks, including fire crackers, roman candles, and bottle rockets are not approved for sale or use in Illinois.
The Illinois Explosives Act is administered by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals’ Explosives and Aggregate Division. The Division is staffed by trained 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 2,306 individuals licensed for the use of explosives in Illinois, of which approximately 921 are specifically for the use of display fireworks. There are 771 certified explosives storage magazines in Illinois, which contain nearly 45 million pounds of explosives. Of those storage magazines, 120 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 and the OSFM 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 http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/mines/EAD/Pages/ExplosivesHandlingStorage.aspx. In addition, for more information concerning the OSFM fireworks regulatory program, log on to http://www.sfm.illinois.gov/Public/Consumer-Fireworks.
To report an explosives incident or accident concerning display fireworks, the public should contact the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, Explosives and Aggregate Division at 217-782-9976 and the OSFM at 217-785-0969.
This article was first published by KWQC – TV6.