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Use of Consumer Fireworks Still Prohibited in Dubuque

Date: 06/27/19
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
                  Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444

In 2017 Iowa legislation signed into law legalized 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. The City of Dubuque is reminding residents that, under the current City Code, the use of consumer fireworks is still prohibited within the city.

The 2017 state law (Senate File 489) legalized the use of fireworks, where allowed by cities and counties, from June 1 – July 8 and Dec. 10 – Jan. 3. However, Iowa Code expressly states that a city may enact or maintain ordinances that limit or prohibit the use of fireworks. Senate File 489 states: “A city council may by ordinance or resolution prohibit or limit the use of consumer fireworks, display fireworks, or novelties, as described in 727.2.”

The discharge/use of “consumer fireworks” remains prohibited in Dubuque. 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.”  

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 firework use should call the non-emergency dispatch number, 563-589-4415. For additional information on selling fireworks in Dubuque, please contact Dubuque Fire Marshal Mark Burkle at 563-589-4161 or email mburkle@cityofdubuque.org. 

The 2017 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.

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