Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and fireworks. Muscatine public safety officials urge everyone to be safe this holiday. Those celebrating Independence Day with fireworks are reminded that it is only legal to discharge fireworks from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 3 and July 4.
“The most important message to people is that if they choose to discharge fireworks to do so in a safe manner,” Mike Hartman, Muscatine Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal, said.
Public safety is also the foremost concern for local and state officials in the governance of the sale and use of consumer fireworks.
“The best way to stay safe is to let the professionals handle the fireworks by attending a public display,” Jerry Ewers, Muscatine Fire Chief, said. “But if you choose to discharge consumer fireworks, please do it safely and responsibly only during the hours of 9 a.m. through 10 p.m. on July 3rd and 4th only.”
Local government and public safety officials share deep concern for the individuals who discharge the fireworks, those individuals who are in the vicinity when fireworks are discharged, those who may be affected by the noise created by the explosions, and for the homes, businesses, or other structures that may be ignited by fireworks. And for household pets. (Check out the July 4 safety tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association by clicking HERE).
No More Warnings
The Muscatine Police are taking an aggressive approach to violations of the City fireworks ordinance.
“Over the last couple of years, we issued numerous warnings to people that violated the City ordinance,” Brett Talkington, Muscatine Police Chief, said. “We found that this was not very productive with all the complaints that we were receiving. So, the Police Department began a zero-tolerance campaign and started issuing citations to people lighting fireworks outside of the legal times.”
That includes citing homeowners when someone on their property is discharging fireworks outside of the legal time frame.
“We want people to be respectful when lighting fireworks, and to make sure you are only lighting them off within the time frame allowed by City ordinance,” Talkington said. “If we all work together and follow the rules we can all have an enjoyable Fourth of July.”
The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are not safe. Read more: Leave Fireworks to the Experts.
Highlights from the City Code
- Current Muscatine City Code sets the time for the legal discharge of consumer fireworks during the Independence Day holiday between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. on July 3 and July 4 on real property that they own or on property where consent has been given by the property owner.
- Persons 17 years or younger are not permitted to discharge fireworks except under the supervision of an adult who is within sight and sound of the minor(s) as they discharge fireworks.
- It is a violation of City Code for any parent, guardian, or other adult having custody of a minor to allow the minor to discharge fireworks without direct supervision by the parent, guardian, or other adult having custody.
- Any person discharging a fireworks device or any person permitting the discharge of a fireworks device on their property assumes the responsibility for and the potential consequences from the discharging of fireworks.
- It is a violation of City Code to discharge fireworks in a reckless manner or a manner that is likely to cause death, injury, fire, or property damage, and to discharge fireworks while showing visible signs of, or determined to be, intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic.
- It is against City Code to alter, remove, or discharge components of a fireworks device from its intended method of discharging.
- Snakes, sparklers, or caps can be discharged in a public place unless specifically prohibited by the owner of the public space, and as long as all trash, wrappers, and wires are properly disposed of.
- Sky lantern open flame devices are not permitted unless the device is tethered by a retrievable rope that provides the individual control over the sky lantern.
Using fireworks outside the designated dates and times listed below is considered to be a violation and can result in fines of no less than $250 per violation. Anyone discharging fireworks or allowing the discharge of fireworks on their property assumes responsibility for that discharge and the consequences, if warranted.
Report any fires in buildings, vehicles, or greenspaces by calling 911 immediately! Enjoy a safe holiday season.
More information can be found on the City of Muscatine Firework Safety page.
Additional fireworks safety information is available at:
- US Consumer Products Safety Commission: https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks
- Kid’s Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fireworks.html
- American Pyrotechnics Association: https://www.celebratesafely.org/safety-tips-
- Phantom Fireworks (fireworks distributor and seller): https://fireworks.com/education-and-safety/safety-tips
- Hartman discusses fireworks safety https://youtu.be/iT0XAx_VybU.