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What fireworks are legal in Illinois?

July 02, 2012|By Renee Pinckney | For RedEye

You're ready to get all patriotic and celebrate America's independence by blowing up stuff and shooting off fireworks, but you've got no clue if that M-80 or gargantan rocket is legal in Illinois. So, what do you do?

We've sorted through Illinois' laws and regulations for this guide to 4th of July fireworks.

According to the city and state legislation, the Illinois Fireworks Use Act states that only licensed pyrotechnic operators who obtain permits can put on public fireworks displays.

No fireworks display shall be permitted between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.   

Anyone caught with illegal fireworks in Chicago faces a fine of $200 to $500 or felony charges.

Locations where fireworks are permitted included:

>> Public parks or other public open spaces (Section 15-20-240 of the Municipal Code of Chicago)

>> Privately owned property as required in Section 15-4-550 of the Municipal Code of Chicago – This requires

Any of the above will have to apply for an official permit and license, which can be done filling out forms provided on the City of Chicago’s website.

What can people buy and use in the city?

Items that contain very low levels of or no explosive material are available to the general public and are consumer-approved that can be purchased.  These include:

>> Smoke bombs

>> Party poppers

>> Cones including showers of Sparks, Fountains and Repeaters (also known as ‘Cakes’)

>> Mines, Comets, Tubes, Shells, Fancy Florals and Parachutes

>> Other novelty items

Items that are consumer approved must be labeled 1.4G consumer. These items are firework devices designed to produce low-level aerial effects, which are propelled into the air by a lift charge.

Single tube fountains must not contain more than 75 grams total of pyrotechnic composition. Cone fountains must not contain more than 50 grams total of pyrotechnic composition. Multiple-tube fountains must not contain more than 500 grams total of pyrotechnic composition.

What are the restrictions?

The following fireworks are prohibited by Illinois law:

>> Handheld fireworks

>> Bottle rockets

>> Firecrackers of any size or type

>> Sky rockets

>> Roman candles

>> Chasers

>> Buzz bombs

>> Ground items

>> Helicopters

>> Missiles

>> Pin wheels or any other twirling device

>> Planes

>> Torpedoes

Is there a special place people can go to use "illegal" fireworks?

No, all fireworks must be consumer-approved on you must apply and be approved for a permit to shoot illegal or put on a display of explosive fireworks.


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