SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding individuals and organizations sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois for the Independence Day holiday 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.
“The Independence Day holiday celebrations involving fireworks are a great tradition, but we want to make sure these fireworks shows are as safe as possible,” 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 1,530 individuals licensed for the use of explosives in Illinois, of which 864 are for the use of display fireworks. There are 840 certified explosives storage magazines in Illinois, which contain nearly 90 million pounds of explosives. Of those storage magazines, 144 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 www.dnr.state.il.us/mines/mst/index.htm
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.
In addition to fireworks vigilance, the IDNR Office of Land Management has instituted open-fire burn bans at several sites throughout the state, especially in southern Illinois where extremely dry conditions warrant these bans. Please check with any site office to see if an open burn ban is in place or check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov
for more information.