Illinois Department of Natural Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2010

IDNR Reminds Public to Leave Fireworks Displays to Professionals

Sponsors of Fireworks Displays Reminded to Check Vendor’s Credentials

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) wants everyone to have a safe and memorable 4th of July weekend. That’s why the agency is reminding individuals and organizations 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.

IDNR licensing and storage requirements do not apply to consumer or personal fireworks (classified as 1.4 explosives) such as roman candles, bottle rockets or firecrackers.

“We look forward to everyone enjoying spectacular fireworks displays throughout the state to help celebrate Independence Day,” 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 1,635 individuals licensed for the use of explosives in Illinois, of which 978 are for the use of display fireworks. There are 855 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 http://dnr.state.il.us/mines/mst. 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.