IDNR Reminds Illinoisans to Let Professionals Handle Fireworks

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      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 Independence Day holiday allows us to celebrate

                      our freedoms and our great nation – and it is also a

                      time many of us enjoy spectacular fireworks shows.

                      To have a safe and memorable holiday celebration, we

                      encourage those sponsoring fireworks shows to put

                      safety first,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

                      “Display fireworks can be dangerous if not stored and

                      handled properly. Only certified and licensed vendors

                      have 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 1,679 individuals licensed for the

                      use of explosives in Illinois, of which 994 are for

                      the use of display fireworks. There are 848 certified

                      explosives storage magazines in Illinois, which

                      contain nearly 100 million pounds of explosives. Of

                      those storage magazines, 147 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.