There were 1,720 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 392,922 in the last 365 days.

IDNR urges public to leave fireworks displays to those who are licensed and trained fireworks show sponsors

ILLINOIS, June 30 - Always check credentials of fireworks vendors

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding organizations and individuals sponsoring fireworks displays in Illinois to be sure their fireworks vendors have the required state licenses and certificates issued by IDNR and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) 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.

Licensing and storage requirements administered by IDNR do not apply to consumer fireworks (classified as 1.4 explosives). Approved consumer fireworks are regulated by the OSFM and are permitted only in villages, counties and municipalities that have passed ordinances allowing such displays. Consumer fireworks may be purchased and displayed only by adults who have obtained permits from their local jurisdiction. Hand-held fireworks, including firecrackers, roman candles, and bottle rockets, are not approved for sale or use in Illinois.

The Illinois Explosives Act is administered by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, Explosives and Aggregate Division. This division 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 2,165 individuals licensed for the use of explosives in Illinois, of which approximately 757 are specifically for the use of display fireworks. There are 737 certified explosives storage magazines in Illinois, which contain nearly 41 million pounds of explosives. Of those storage magazines, 99 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.

"There are many aspects to proper pyrotechnics safety," said Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Division Chief Erik Kambarian. "Trained and licensed fireworks display operators provide a safe environment for spectators while they operate an unforgiving one."

Federal OSHA offers guidance to the pyrotechnics industry to ensure safety standards are available to fireworks operators.

Emergency responders are reminded to contact IDNR and the OSFM immediately with reports of personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of explosives, including display fireworks.

To report an explosives incident or accident concerning display fireworks, the public should contact the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, Explosives and Aggregate Division at 217-782-9976 and the OSFM at 217-785-0969.