Police and fire officials throughout Kane County are reminding residents that fireworks are dangerous, many are illegal and fines as high as $700 can be applied if you’re breaking the law in some communities.
Campton Hills Police Chief Steven Millar said in a news release that police will be proactively enforcing fireworks laws this year.
“Any individual using professional-grade fireworks or any other fireworks in a dangerous manner toward other people or other people’s property will be cited under the village of Campton Hills’ fireworks ordinance,” he said. “Anyone previously cited under the village’s fireworks ordinance could possibly be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if they again violate the ordinance.”
Fireworks regulations vary by local ordinance, so it’s a good idea to review the rules by visiting your municipality’s police department website or Facebook page. Click here for a list of Kane County communities’ websites.
In the village of Wayne, “throwing or propelling of any firecrackers, Roman candles or rockets of any type, or any articles of any explosive nature intended to be used as firecrackers” is prohibited.
Violators of these ordinances will be issued a $150 compliance ticket and fireworks will be confiscated and may result in a court appearance. Any subsequent violations increases the fines to $225 for each additional offense.
In Elgin, violations range from $100 to $750.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said his office is always preparing for your safety.
“Of course, we maintain the usual vigilance for firework safety,” he said. “Having seen many injuries over the years from improper handling of those explosives, we strongly suggest enjoying a local show instead of trying it for yourself. Should you choose to use fireworks, our deputies will be happy to take enforcement action.”
The Illinois Explosives Act requires that anyone who purchases, possesses, uses, transfers, stores or disposes of explosives, including display fireworks, must have an explosives license and explosives storage certificate issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Consumer fireworks may be purchased and displayed only by adults who have obtained permits from their local jurisdiction. Hand held fireworks, including fire crackers, roman candles, and bottle rockets are not approved for sale or use in Illinois.
Anyone possessing, using, transferring or purchasing display fireworks without a valid IDNR individual explosives license or storage certificate is violating Illinois law and could incur penalties.
A violation of the Illinois Explosives Act can be a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Why do law enforcers and fire officials care if someone’s dabbling in fireworks on the Fourth of July weekend?
Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says that, during the 2018 seasonal reporting period of June 23 through July 20, a total of 96 people reported 134 injuries due to fireworks.
Of those 134 injuries, 72% were males and more than half (56%) occurred to persons over the age of 22. Children under the age of 6 accounted for nearly 1 in 10 (9.3%) of all injuries.
Hands accounted for more than a third (39%) of injuries. Head/Face and legs each accounted for 13% and 8% of injuries were reported to the eyes.
Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency room visits related to fireworks. A sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
To put this into perspective, glass melts at a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit and wood burns at a temperature of 575 degrees Fahrenheit.
2019 Video From Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley
Additional Fourth of July Safety Advice
Hain asked that Kane County residents take a moment to consider two other safety issues during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
First, he asks residents to have a contingency plan in place due to the turbulent weather we have experienced so far this summer.
“While we’ll all be out enjoying our holiday, we should always know where we can head for shelter and rejoin with family in the event of a weather emergency,” he said.
- Click this link from the National Weather Service to find out how to make a plan to be “Weather Ready.”
Finally, Hain asks that drivers expect our motorcycling population to be out on the roads enjoying the warmer temperatures.
“Look twice and save a life,” he said. “Extra deputies will be out for traffic enforcement and DUI patrols, as well. I would like nothing more than to report no crashes or injuries following one of the best weekends of the year.”