As a general rule, consumer fireworks are not legal in Illinois. The Pyrotechnic Use Act, passed in 1942, bans the sale, possession and use of all consumer fireworks. These items are legal to buy in most other states but not in Illinois:
- Bottle rockets
- Roman candles
Violations of this law can result in large fines or even jail time, especially in cases where the fireworks are bought in from another state and transported across state lines. Illinois is one of only three states to ban all or most consumer fireworks.
Also, certain municipalities and villages may have additional laws on the books to limit the usage of devices the PUA deemed as legal. Novelty fireworks-type devices that are not considered consumer fireworks and are legal in Illinois include:
- Some small cap guns
- Snake or glow worm pellets
- Smoke devices
- Trick noisemakers
- Booby traps
- Trick matches
- Cigarette loads
- Auto burglar alarms
Please check local ordinances where you live, as sparklers, for example, are outlawed in the city of Chicago.
Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that thousands of people are injured in fireworks-related accidents every year, with multiple deaths. Safety is paramount when handling any fireworks-type devices, as they can cause serious eye injuries and burns if not used properly. Important safety tips include: never point fireworks toward another person, never light fireworks in a container or indoors, never light fireworks near anything flammable and never attempt to re-light a device that failed to go off.
Illinois residents can safely enjoy large and supervised fireworks displays in villages, counties and municipalities that have obtained permits, and there are a number events on or around Independence Day throughout the state. In addition, County Fairs and the State Fair have supervised public fireworks displays.
To learn more, visit the Illinois State Police website at isp.illinois.gov.