A press release from State Rep. Barb Wheeler:
Wheeler Files Bill to End Arbitrary Fireworks Ban
CRYSTAL LAKE – Today, on the eve of Independence Day, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has filed legislation to allow Illinoisans to celebrate the occasion with the time honored tradition of fireworks without the risk of fine or arrest.
Illinois is one of only four states does not allow for the consumer purchase and use of fireworks and Wheeler’s legislation would give that independence back to residents.
“Illinois is already an outlier in so many ways, and this another silly example,” said Wheeler.
“Illinoisans, like residents in 46 other states, can and should be trusted to responsibly use consumer fireworks and take care of themselves.
“Not only does it make sense to give a little independence back to the people for Independence Day, but it will also generate some business and tax revenue for the state that will help mitigate some of the exodus of people leaving the state.”
Wheeler’s legislation, House Bill 5928, creates the Pyrotechnic Use Act of 2018.
The bill, modeled on best practices utilized in other states, sets rules for the licensing, sale and purchase of consumer grade fireworks beyond the extreme limit of only items like sparkles, which is current Illinois law.
As there are safety concerns associated with the use of fireworks, Wheeler recommends anyone wishing to use fireworks follow the #CelebrateSafely guidelines provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
* Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
* Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
* Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
* Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
* Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
* Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
* Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
* Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
* Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
* After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
* Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
For more information about HB 5928, press here.