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Bright Ideas: Stay Safe and Legal with Indiana’s Firework Guidelines

People watching fireworks

Fireworks are a spectacular way to celebrate, lighting up the night sky with vibrant colors and excitement. But it's crucial to know Indiana's specific rules to keep your celebrations safe and legal. Here's a guide for fireworks fans across the state.


1. Rules for Wholesalers Selling Fireworks


Wholesalers (the people who sell fireworks in bulk) can't sell prohibited fireworks directly to consumers unless the buyer promises in writing to take them out of Indiana within five days. This rule was made clear in the cases State v. Windy City Fireworks, Inc. (1992) and Johnson v. Patriotic Fireworks, Inc. (2007). Wholesalers can sell non-approved fireworks only to other wholesalers or to people who promise to take them out of state within five days.


2. Getting Approval to Sell Fireworks


If a wholesaler wants to sell fireworks in Indiana, they need a certificate of compliance. This application needs to describe each firework item and explain where the shipment will go once it gets to Indiana (675 IAC 12-9-7).


3. Safe Storage and Handling


Strict safety guidelines are in place for storing and handling fireworks before a show. This is to ensure that everything is stored properly and safely, following the Indiana Fire Code and Building Code (675 IAC 28-1-39).


4. Age Limits


To sell fireworks to consumers, you must be at least 18 years old (*IC 22-11-14-8*).


5.  Guide for Users

  • Choose Legal Fireworks: Only buy and use fireworks that are approved for consumer use and follow local laws. Avoid illegal explosives or homemade devices.

  • Designate a Responsible Adult: Have an adult oversee the fireworks display, including lighting the fireworks and monitoring the crowd.

  • Maintain a Safe Distance: Make sure everyone, including the person lighting the fireworks, is at a safe distance from the launch site.

  • Clear the Area: Set up your fireworks in an open area away from buildings, dry grass, and other flammable materials.  

  • Protect Eyes and Hands: Consider using eye protection or safety glasses while handling fireworks.

  • Have Water Nearby: Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of a fire or a malfunction.

  • Dispose Properly: After use, soak spent fireworks in water before disposing of them in a metal trash can.

  • Avoid Relighting Duds: If a firework fails to ignite (a "dud"), do not attempt to relight it. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in water.

  • Supervise Kids: Ensure children are well-supervised, especially if they are handling sparklers or other small fireworks.

  • Stay Calm and Prepared: Have a first aid kit on hand and know the location of the nearest emergency room or medical facility.


Fireworks are fun, but they're also powerful, which is why Indiana has rules to make sure they're handled responsibly. By knowing the laws and following them, we can all enjoy a safe and brilliant show.


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