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Retail Sales of Fireworks


In 2017, the Iowa Legislature allowed for the sale of fireworks to consumers in Iowa for the first time since 1938. Sales of fireworks are legal through July 8 which is also the last day that fireworks can be discharged in Iowa. Several cities in Iowa including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Waterloo, Iowa City, Ames, and Dubuque have banned fireworks. Other cities like Ankeny, Sioux City, and Council Bluffs have placed tighter restrictions on the time frame during which fireworks may be discharged.

PMCI members may apply for a license to sell fireworks by visiting the State Fire Marshal website here. The State Fire Marshal office also has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document available online for retail operators to help guide them through the application process. That document can be viewed here.

Most PMCI members selling fireworks are doing so under what is called a Limited Quantity License. Under National Fire Protection Association Standard 1124, Chapter 7, Section 7.3.1 (2006 edition), fireworks sold in certain limited quantities are exempt from the requirements of NFPA Standard 1124, Chapter 7. Those amounts are as follows:

  1. For a permanent building that has a sprinkler system, then the maximum amount of fireworks on hand is 250 pounds of net pyrotechnic composition.
  2. For a permanent building that does not have a sprinkler system, then the maximum amount of fireworks on hand is 125 pounds of net pyrotechnic composition.

If the net weight of pyrotechnic composition is not stated on the product, the method used to figure the net amount of pyrotechnic composition is to take the gross weight of the product (including packaging), and 25% of the gross weight is considered to be the net amount of pyrotechnic composition. Sites licensed to sell limited quantities as described above do not require an inspection for the purpose of receiving a state issued license. However, inspectors may check the site to ensure compliance with the requirements of the limited quantity license.

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