Fireworks are still NOT legal in Illinois. Most people lining up at the fireworks stores across the state line know that they can legally buy firecrackers, bottle rockets, and roman candles in Indiana. That doesn’t make them legal when they bring them back to Illinois. The Pyrotechnic Use Act makes the possession, sale, or use of consumer fireworks a Class “A” misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 plus court costs. Best to leave the explosive entertainment to the professionals, who are trained, licensed, and carry one million-dollar minimum insurance policies.
Far worse than the risk of arrest and prosecution is the risk of serious bodily injuries. In 2013, 11,400 people were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms and 4 people died from fireworks injuries in 2011. That same year, fireworks caused 17,800 fires and $32 million in property damage.
If that doesn’t sway you, consider that if you injure someone with your errant bottle rocket, you could be sued! I know this because I’ve filed those lawsuits on behalf of my injured clients and recovered significant settlements.
Let’s be safe and be smart, while we celebrate our nation’s independence.