Fireworks Ordinance

Dubuque bans the use of consumer fireworks in the city. Dubuque residents can buy and possess consumer fireworks, but they cannot use them in the city. The City Council arrived at the decision on July 5, 2017, following state legislation legalizing the sale and use of fireworks.

Iowa legislation signed into law in May 2017 legalizes the sale and use of fireworks during limited dates throughout the year – unless a city or county chooses to otherwise restrict or prohibit usage of fireworks. Dubuque’s continued prohibition follows a recommendation from Dubuque Chief of Police Mark Dalsing and Dubuque Fire Chief Rick Steines that the City continue its existing prohibition on the use of consumer fireworks out of concern for noise, fire, and injury. Residents may sell fireworks if they obtain the appropriate sales permits through the State of Iowa.

Consumer fireworks typically have packaging stating “Consumer Fireworks, 1.4G, UN0336.” The City of Dubuque continues to allow the use of “novelty fireworks” such as party poppers, snappers, drop pops, snakes, and some sparklers. Novelty fireworks may not have more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture and must state on their packaging “not subject to D.O.T. Hazardous Materials Regulations.” The City of Dubuque allows groups to use display fireworks with proper permitting from the Dubuque Fire Department. This practice will not change with the new City Code amendments.

Any violation of the city’s ordinance limiting or prohibiting fireworks constitutes a simple misdemeanor with a fine no less than $250. Residents who wish to report illegal fireworks use should call the non-emergency dispatch number at 563-589-4415. For additional information on selling fireworks in Dubuque, please contact Dubuque Fire Marshal at 563-589-4161 or email.

The new state law legalized the sale of fireworks, from June 1 – July 8 and Dec. 10 – Jan. 3 in permanent structures and June 13 – July 8 in temporary structures. The state fire marshal has developed inspection standards for sellers and controls licensing, registration, and other applicable requirements for sellers. The law also specifies that sales to persons under the age of 18 are prohibited and will result in simple misdemeanor charges with a minimum fine of $250. Additionally, any person under the age of 18 caught purchasing fireworks will be charged with a simple misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $250.