Fireworks: Laws and safety in Kosciusko County

Fireworks are one of the most recognized Independence Day traditions, but its important to make sure your firework usage is both legal and safe.

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department outlines the following laws as a reminder to Kosciusko County residents:

  1. AGE RESTRICTIONS– You have to be 18+ to buy fireworks. If someone under 18 is using or possessing fireworks, someone 18+ needs to be present. Anyone under the age of 18 possessing or using fireworks without the presence of an adult could face a fine of $500 per infraction. Children using fireworks should be monitored closely by an adult to avoid severe burns to the hands and arms as well as other injuries due to improper handling of sparklers, bottle rockets, and firecrackers.
  2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION– You can only use fireworks on your property, the property of someone who gave you permission to discharge fireworks, or a place designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal as such. Someone using fireworks at any location other than the 3 previously listed could face a maximum fine of $500 per infraction. Damaging someone else’s property with fireworks could result in a fine of $5,000 as well as 1 year imprisonment.
  3. TIMING IS EVERYTHING– On the Fourth of July, consumer fireworks can be used between 9 a.m. and midnight. On June 29-30 and July 1-3 and 5-9, fireworks can be discharged until two hours past sunset. Most other days that are not holidays, consumer fireworks can be used only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Sergeant Chad Hill tells News Now Warsaw’s IN The Know a cautionary tale.

“I know that my first ten years when I was on nights as a corporal, we notoriously had people sending off cannon rockets. When they go up, they’ve got to come down some place. Unfortunately a lot of times they were coming down on people’s roofs, into backyards, striking other people a few doors away,” he explains. “I think people need to pay attention to what they really should or should not be igniting on the Fourth of July.”

The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department says someone recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks and causing the serious injury or death of someone else could face between 1 to 8 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

If you’re unsure if your plans are legal and safe, you can learn more from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.