State Fire Marshal: No Illegal Fireworks This Fourth

Jul 3, 2014

Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  Illinois' state fire marshal is warning people to steer clear of personally handling fireworks this Independence Day. He says setting off fireworks without a permit could be grounds for arrest.

While buying fireworks is illegal in Illinois, many residents cross state lines to obtain them from Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says that causes major problems, especially around the Fourth of July.

"Unfortunately, too many people think that these are toys and they're not," he said. "They're explosives and they should be treated that way."

The fire marshal says last year, 76 emergencies were linked to fireworks, and a majority of accidents involve children aged five to fourteen.

Matkaitis also urges caution around novelty items like sparklers, which can burn at 1200 degrees. He says his agency might consider stricter regulations for sparklers in the future.