SUBJECT: Fireworks: Know the Law for a Safe and Legal Fourth of July
RELEASE NUMBER: 2020-NR-035
CONTACT: Col. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff David Wedding
The Fourth of July is fast approaching and many area residents are stocking up on bottle rockets, sparklers and firecrackers. We’ve summarized Indiana’s Fireworks Laws below so that you can stay safe and legal this Independence Day.
Indiana Code 22-11-14-6 allows you to discharge fireworks on your property until 11 PM. On a legal holiday (which by statute includes every Sunday) you may discharge fireworks up until midnight.
You may only discharge fireworks on your own property, on property that you have permission to use, or at a special discharge location authorized by the fire department having jurisdiction. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have an adult present in order to possess or use fireworks. Discharging or possessing fireworks in violation of IC 22-11-14-6 is punishable a Class C Infraction.
The Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District announced in May that the July Fourth fireworks display would not take place this year due to the risk posed by COVID-19. Residents who normally attend a professional display may be tempted to discharge their own fireworks at an unsafe location. Damaging another person’s property with fireworks is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor. Causing serious injury to another person with fireworks is punishable as a Level 6 Felony. Under IC 35-45-3-2 a person who places or leaves a spent firework on the property of another person commits Littering as a Class B Infraction.
Vanderburgh County Code 12.24.010(u) prohibits the possession or discharge of fireworks within a county maintained park. The City of Evansville further restricts the use of fireworks within the corporate limits. The Evansville Municipal Code regulating fireworks may be found here.
Sheriff Dave Wedding explained, “Even though the law permits the discharge of fireworks on any day of the year, intentionally annoying your neighbors during the work week could result in a citation for disorderly conduct.” Sheriff Wedding added, “Our office wants everyone to have a great time this Fourth of July, we just ask that residents be courteous to their neighbors and exercise a little common sense.”
Pictured Above: Fireworks complaints in the county have been on a downward trend in recent years. The Sheriff’s Office received only twenty-two (22) complaints last summer, compared to twenty-seven (27) in 2018, thirty-four (34) in 2017 and up to seventy-one (71) during the summer of 2013. (Data Source: Evansville City – Vanderburgh County Joint Department of Central Dispatch)