City of Sun Prairie Fireworks Advisory Bulletin
June 24, 2014
Lieutenant Brian Teasdale
Independence Day is quickly approaching. The holiday presents a number of questions and concerns regarding the use fireworks. The following information outlines state laws, local ordinances, legal definitions and safety tips regarding fireworks.
Wisconsin state law provides the following statutory language on the restrictions of fireworks:
- State law allows, without a permit, the sale, possession, and use of sparklers (not exceeding 36 inches in length), stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noise makers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture, and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground.
- Possessing or using any other fireworks, i.e. – firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, mortars, etc. in Wisconsin without a valid permit is illegal.
- The sale of these restricted fireworks to a resident of this state without a valid permit is also illegal.
The City of Sun Prairie has adopted several state statutes regarding the use of and possession of fireworks:
- 8.16.020(a) – Use of fireworks restricted (keep, use, discharge, sell or offer to sell).
- 8.32.010 – Loud and unnecessary noise prohibited.
- 8.16.020(c) – Adults allowing a juvenile to possess or ignite fireworks.
If a firework is purchased in the City of Sun Prairie, it should fit within the guidelines to be legal. Many places may sell illegal fireworks but this does not mean that they are legal to possess or discharge.
The following is a list of definitions for legal and illegal fireworks:
- Audible Device – Any device that makes an audible noise. (This does not include explosives that may make a boom/band sound)
- Cone or Cylindrical Fountains – Any conical or cylindrical shaped devices that sit on the ground and emit only sparks and smoke.
- Snake Device – Any device that emits a long black snake-like object at any time during its functioning.
- Smoke Device – Any device that sits on the ground and emits only smoke.
- Sparklers – A device on a wooden stick or a wire, which emits only, sparks. Allowed devices must not exceed 36 inches in length and not have an outer diameter larger than ¼ inch.
- Explosive Device – (except the type which sprays out confetti or paper streamers)
- Aerial Device – Any device that leaves the ground is an aerial device.
- Ground Device – Any device that remains on the ground that does not fall into another class. These include Roman Candles, pinwheels, jumpers, etc.
- Applicable Wisconsin State Statutes are provided by following this link: here.
When it comes to the discharge of legal fireworks, safety is the main concern. The following is a list of safety tips:
- Fireworks should be discharged away from residences (i.e. end of driveway, parking lot). Use outdoor areas only.
- Use a garden hose to wet down the area in preparation.
- As each device burns out, soak it using a hose or bucket of water.
- Place all used items in a covered fireproof container and leave it outside and away from homes and buildings.
- Only use fireworks as intended. Do not try to alter or combine the devices.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated person responsible for fireworks.
- Additional consumer fireworks safety tips and a safety video are provided by following this link: www.FireworksSafety.org.
- The Wisconsin Department of Justice provides a State Law Advisory (city ordinances may be more restrictive) that is provided by following this link: here.
Thank you and have a safe holiday!