Submitted by Scott Waldrup
Mascoutah Chief of Police
With the 4th of July coming up, I wanted to get information out regarding legal and illegal fireworks, and to avoid complaints of fireworks in town. I wanted to clarify the correct laws so that someone is not arrested, or have items confiscated, for what they thought were legal fireworks.
The ONLY legal fireworks you can buy or possess WITHOUT A PERMIT in the State of Illinois and City of Mascoutah are smoke items and non-exploding items like sparklers. Anything that explodes or shoots into the air is illegal without a permit.
The Mascoutah Fire Department and Police Department determined that there were no “safe” areas in subdivisions or residential areas of town for aerial displays or exploding fireworks, and the City will not issue permits or perform inspections of sites for this purpose.
While stands in the area can sell exploding and flying items, they should only be selling these fireworks to persons with permits. With no permit, it is illegal to possess these items. For more information, please visit the State of Illinois Fire Marshall’s website.
Parents, you have a responsibility to know what your children, especially teens, are buying and possessing. This is not only to prevent illegal activity, but particularly for their own safety.
The most recent statistics available (2020), as reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, indicated that there were approximately 10,300 injuries reported in U.S. hospitals due to fireworks. Approximately 18% of these injuries occurred to individuals under the age of 15 years old. The majority of those injuries occurred to youths between the ages of 10-14 years of age. The majority of all injuries occurred during the month surrounding the 4th of July Holiday. The National Fire Protection Association reported approximately 19,500 fires per year from fireworks resulting in approximately $105 million dollars in property damage.
Please do not use illegal fireworks in neighborhoods or anywhere else in the City. You will be liable for injuries or damage from illegal fireworks, and can be arrested for possession or use of them. Your neighbors do not want you dropping hot ashes on their houses or in their yards. Please do not use illegal fireworks in neighborhoods or anywhere else in the City. You will be liable for injuries or damage from illegal fireworks, and can be arrested for possession or use of them. Your neighbors do not want you dropping hot ashes on their houses or in their yards.
Notice: Increased Patrol and Enforcement:
Due to increased public concern over the use of illegal fireworks in Mascoutah, the police department will have increased manpower and patrols surrounding the 4th of July weekends. ENFORCEMENT ACTION will be taken. Therefore, I am urging the public for voluntary compliance. Please do not place our officers in a situation where we will be forced to take enforcement action.
Instead, I ask you to come out to the City Park and enjoy the City’s fireworks display on the evening of the 4th of July. Thank you and I wish you and your family a safe holiday.