Know Your Fireworks Regulations, Safety Before Setting Them Off

DULUTH, Minn. – With the Fourth of July right around the corner, fireworks are taking flight.

But before you light that match, you better know the rules.

In Minnesota, firecrackers are illegal. Residents can, however, use non-explosives like sparklers and ground snakes.

“Minnesota has one of the most restrictive fireworks laws and Wisconsin is not so strict,” says Sergeant Kelly Greenwalt with the Duluth Police Department. “You can even sell fireworks in Minnesota with the assumption that they’re going to be used in another state. So that leads to some confusion as well.”

You can be fined up to $1,000 for shooting off illegal fireworks, and the Duluth Police Department might give you a disorderly conduct ticket.

“I’d be actually more concerned about civil liabilities as well,” says Greenwalt. “If someone is using a firework in the state of Wisconsin and it causes injury to someone else or they provide a firework that someone else lit that caused an injury they I’ll have one type of liability for that, but in Minnesota because fireworks are illegal you may be held to more civil liability.”

Assistant Chief Brandt Consie with the Duluth Fire Department has a few tips for those who are planning to use fireworks.

“First of all make sure that your fireworks are legal,” says Consie. “Second of all make sure you have a water source around when you’re lighting off fireworks. Be aware of animals in the neighborhood.  Some peoples’ next door neighbor dogs are very scared of them so just kind of work with your neighbors when you’re lighting off fireworks.”

If you want to get your fireworks fix without setting them off yourself, there will be community displays at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth and Barkers Island in Superior.  Both shows will start at 10 p.m. Monday, July 4.

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