Sparkler burningWhat are fireworks?

Any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, deflagration, or detonation, and that meets the definition of Consumer Fireworks or Display Fireworks as set forth in NFPA 1123.

Legal Consumer Fireworks

In the City of Cedar Rapids and the State of Iowa, the only legal consumer fireworks are Sparklers, Caps, and Snakes. Snaps, Poppers, Party Favors, and other Novelties are in violation of the law.

All other fireworks require a permit that must be applied for through the Cedar Rapids Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office. The permit application is available for download from Permits and Applications page.

Seizure of Fireworks

The Chief shall seize, take, remove or cause to be removed at the expense of the owner all stocks of fireworks offered in violation of this article. 

Fireworks Injuries 

In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries.

Devices Causing Injury:
  • 2% Public Displays
  • 2% Small Firecrackers
  • 9% Illegal Firecrackers
  • 18% Fireworks Rockets
  • 11% Sparklers
  • 21% Unknown type Firecrackers
  • 22% Unclassified devices
  • 16% Unknown

Risk of Injury by Age:

  • 3.1 ~ 0-4 years of age
  • 7.9 ~ 5-14 years of age
  • 7.2 ~ 15-24 years of age
  • 1.9 ~ 25-44 years of age
  • 0.7 ~ 45-64 years of age

(Number of fireworks injuries per 100,000 persons. NFPA Fire Analysis and Research)

Fireworks Cause Fires

In 2011, an estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.

During 2007-2011, 91% of the average of 19,700 fires associated with fireworks per year occurred outside any structure or vehicle. The largest numbers of these outdoor fires associated with fireworks involved grass fires (6,800 per year), brush fires (4,500), dumpster fires (1,700), unclassified or unknown-type natural or vegetation fires (1,300) and other outside trash, rubbish, or waste fires (1,200).


  • Never leave children unattended.
  • Never allow children to play with fireworks.
  • Read and follow all fireworks warnings and instructions.
  • Have a bucket of water near by to place the sparklers into.
  • Watch all clothing.
  • Leave the big fireworks to professionals.

Food for Thought 

As adults, 365 days a year we tell our little ones DO NOT TOUCH, HOT! On the Fourth of July we hand them a wire (sparkler) that burns at a temperature of 1,200 degrees and say, "Have fun!"

© 2019  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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