If fireworks are part of your celebration, the Galesburg Fire Department reminds everyone that public firework displays put on by trained professionals are the safest way to enjoy fireworks.
“While fireworks are exciting to see, they are potentially dangerous and when misused can lead to serious injuries, fires, burns and even death,” said Captain Derek Perry. “Not only is misuse of fireworks dangerous for the user, but also for the bystanders and even surrounding structures.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), far more fires are reported in the U.S. on a typical Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires.
Illinois and Galesburg law classifies fireworks into three categories:
1. Novelty Fireworks: Sparklers, Snake or Glow Worms, Smoke bombs, Noisemaker such as Party Poppers, and other similar devices. These are legal to all residents in Illinois and the City of Galesburg. However, in Galesburg, they must be used on private property.
2. Consumer Fireworks: Includes small fountains, comets, parachutes, etc that are approved by the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal. Specifically prohibited are firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, pinwheels, sky lanterns or any hand held firework. Consumer fireworks require an individual to take a fireworks training class approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshall, a private site 200 ft from any structure or property line and a $30 permit issued by the City of Galesburg fifteen days prior to the display.
3. Display Fireworks: These fireworks require an individual that is licensed by the Office of the State Fire Marshall as well as employed by a licensed pyrotechnic distributor.
These rules apply throughout the state but in Galesburg are also subject to a $75 administrative ticket. A public firework display is the smartest and safest fireworks alternative for anyone because they are established under controlled settings and regulations.
Sparklers became legal in Galesburg in 2001 and outside of illegal fireworks, pose the greatest danger to users. Sparklers burn at over 1,200 degrees and can cause deep tissue burns. If you choose to use sparklers, The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following safety tips for sparklers:
Always read and follow instructions. Always have an adult present.
Keep burning sparklers away from clothing and flammable objects.
Only use sparklers outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles.
Light only one sparkler at a time.
Alcohol, fireworks and sparklers do not mix. Be responsible.
Do not point or throw sparklers at another person
Children under the age of 12 should not handle sparklers.
When finished, place used sparklers in a bucket of water.
For more information:
Sources: National Fire Protection Association, the National Council on Fireworks Safety, Office of the State Fire Marshall