The Fourth of July — arguably America's favorite national holiday — is just around the corner, which means people coast-to-coast are thinking of celebrating with fireworks. For Iowans, though, whether or not they can ring in Independence Day with a literal boom is not clear due to state, federal, and county laws conflicting with one another. Some counties are allowing most any fireworks, for example, while others like Waterloo are putting a hard ban on fireworks of any kind.
The need to put restrictions on firework sales and usage spiked after numerous complaints were brought to the authorities last year. Incendiary toys like fireworks are inherently dangerous, and could be potentially deadly in the wrong hands.
Despite the safety concerns and general confusion about who can buy and light fireworks, the number of firework sales in Iowa is expected to go up this year. There has also not been word from fireworks companies about increasing the safety of their products, many of which are actually manufactured elsewhere and distributed to vendors. However, the Iowa State Fire Marshal's official website has release a full list of approved fireworks vendors around the state, which you can view by clicking here.
(For more information about Iowa's legal take on fireworks and related concerns, you can click here to view a full article from the Des Moines Register.)
No matter who you are or your experience with recreational fireworks, you need to prioritize safety if you are going to use them on the Fourth of July this year. When basic safety precautions are not followed, the risk of starting a fire, suffering a burn or explosion injury, or even an accident death are greatly increased.
To keep you, your loved ones, and your neighbors safe, remember these fireworks safety tips:
Carefully read any provided instructions for a firework before lighting it.
Children should never be allowed to light or hold a firework of any design.
Intoxicated adults should not be allowed to light or use a firework.
Safety goggles should be given to everyone in attendance before lighting a firework.
Never light more than one firework at a single time.
Never light a firework indoors.
Never light a firework near dry grass or other flammable materials.
Secure all pets safely indoors when fireworks are being lit, preferably in an interior room with no door leading to the outside.
Keep an ample source of water and a fire extinguisher nearby when using any firework.
Thoroughly soak any used firework after use and dispose of in a closed metal container one day later.
Even with the best preparations, fireworks can be extremely dangerous, especially when they are manufactured poorly. If you or a loved one are injured by a firework this Fourth of July, you can call (319) 219-2800 to connect with Danny Cornell Law and our personal injury lawyers in Southeast Iowa. During a free case evaluation, we can help you determine if a negligent third party is responsible for your injuries and damages.