FIREWORKSPosted: Mon, June 26, 2017
The Iowa General Assembly passed legislation, SF 489, during the 2017 legislative session allowing for the sale and use of fireworks under certain conditions. Iowa previously prohibited the sale and use of most types of fireworks except those used by licensed professionals for displays and for novelty items such as toy smoke devices and sparklers. SF489 makes a number of policy changes:
Adds duties to the State Fire Marshal in order to regulate and license the selling of fireworks.
Establishes fees and categories of licenses based on the type of group doing the selling, the structure the sales occur in and the type of fireworks being sold.
Provides standards for the manufacture, transportation and storage of fireworks.
Requires retailers to maintain commercial general liability insurance with a minimum of one million dollars per occurrence and aggregate coverage of at least two million dollars.
Places additional registration requirements and fees on wholesalers of fireworks to be carried out by the State Fire Marshal.
Further defines and categorizes types of consumer fireworks, display fireworks and novelties.
License fees would be placed in a newly-created Consumer Fireworks Fee Fund to provide resources for the State Fire Marshal to enforce the new law. Funds would also be placed in the newly-created Local Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Service Providers Grant Program to fund fireworks safety and education efforts.
Prohibits the sale of fireworks to any person who is less than 18 years of age.
Provides for penalties for the illegal use of any fireworks and designates this as a simple misdemeanor. This includes use if prohibited by the city or state fire marshal and sales to those less than 18 years of age. Punishment is by a fine of not less than $250.
Outlines the regulatory role of local government in regard to use of consumer fireworks in their jurisdiction (see below).
SF489 does contain a local control provision which gives cities the ability to prohibit or limit the use of fireworks within their communities. Those communities that choose to allow the use of fireworks have control over the date, time and locations that fireworks may be used. Cities choosing to allow fireworks should note that the legislation only allows the use of fireworks during two defined time periods: June 1 through July 8, and December 10 through January 3. A city may: