Fireworks can brighten celebrations, and proper fireworks safety can protect spectators from injury and help keep the festivities going longer.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Safety Tips
Always remember the following safety tips when interacting with fireworks:
- Use extreme caution when lighting fireworks in the wind. Keep spectators where the wind is blowing smoke and debris away from them.
- Never smoke or consume alcohol when lighting fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
- Steer clear of others setting off fireworks. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
- Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks or firework devices.
- Always have a fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water, nearby.
- Only light one firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a "dud" firework.
- After a firework has finished burning, douse it with plenty of water before throwing it away to prevent starting a trash fire.
- Be considerate of individuals with PTSD and other types of medical conditions. The noise can cause severe stress and reaction in neighbors.
- Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by fireworks sounds.
- Fireworks Laws
Become more familiar with the state fireworks laws in Indiana. It is also important to check local ordinances for any fireworks limitations that might exist in the area:
- Throughout the year it is legal to set off fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but this may be limited further by local ordinances. Citizens should check with local officials.
- On state holidays it is legal to set off fireworks from 9 a.m. to midnight, but this may be limited further by local ordinances.
- The times on the following dates are protected in Indiana for consumer use of fireworks and may not be prohibited by local ordinance:
- June 29 to July 3: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset;
- July 4: from 10 a.m. to midnight;
- July 5 to July 9: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset; and
- December 31: from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Fireworks can only be purchased by persons 18 years of age or older.
- Fireworks use is limited to personal property, the property of someone who has approved the use of fireworks or a location designated specifically for the use of consumer fireworks.
- Injury Statistics
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission compiles an annual fireworks report and for the year 2020 found the following:
- There were an estimated 10,300 fireworks injuries treated at hospital emergency departments nationwide between June 21 and July 21 (about 15,600 total for the whole year).
- Sixty-six percent of all reported firework injuries occurred between June 21 and July 21.
- Most fireworks injuries were sustained by males (71 percent).
- Adults between 25 years old and 44 years old accounted for 35 percent of the estimated emergency department-treated fireworks injuries, and about 18 percent of fireworks injuries were to children younger than 15 years old.
- Injuries due to sparklers accounted for about 900 trips to the emergency room; firecrackers, 1,600; and rockets, 600.
- The most common body parts injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), head, face and ears (22 percent), eyes (15 percent) and legs (13 percent).
- About 44 percent of fireworks injuries were burns.
Keeping Hoosiers Safe
Ensuring Fireworks Operations Safety
Ensuring Fireworks Operations Safety
Generally speaking, the State Fire Marshal enforces laws governing the use, possession, shipment and sale of fireworks in Indiana. These laws make requirements of manufacturers, retailers and users of fireworks and the Code Enforcement Section works daily to make sure building and fire codes, including applicable fireworks laws, are being followed around Indiana.
Code officials work with local building, fire and enforcement departments to provide continuous educational training, building and fire code interpretation and on-site inspection assistance. Inspectors are in the field daily, performing inspections related to fireworks permits, amusement and entertainment permits, industrialized buildings and mobile structures, outdoor event equipment, temporary stages and more.
The Code Enforcement Section handles permit applications and status requests relating to fireworks, amusement and entertainment and outdoor event equipment. Applicants for these permits use the online service Public Safety Portal.
Find more information on fireworks laws in Indiana on the Fireworks Information page.