What you Need to Know About Celebrating with Fireworks in Wisconsin

McLario, Helm, Bertling, & Spiegel, S.C.

fire crackersThe onset of the summer months also means the onset of summer events. As the weather heats up, so does the sale of fireworks in the State of Wisconsin. While fireworks can add a festive flair to your summer entertaining, it is important to understand the legalities of fireworks usage.

  • Permit free – Under Wisconsin law there are several types of fireworks that do not require a permit to obtain or use. These include sparklers under 36 inches long, confetti poppers, stationary cones and fountains, smoke bombs, caps, noise makers and a variety of other devices as outlined in Stat. §167.10(1). Because state law does not classify these devices as fireworks, there is no age restriction on their sale, possession or use. Regardless of the state law, it is still important to check your local ordinances to see if any of these devices are restricted in your community.
  • Explosive Fireworks are prohibited – Unless you have a permit, you are not able to possess most types of explosive fireworks. These include firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars. This typically includes anything that flies or explodes.
  • Adults can obtain permits – Depending upon your local ordinances, you might be able to obtain a permit to possess some types of fireworks. Permits can only be issued by designated municipal employees including the mayor, village president or town chairman. The permit will provide details regarding the type and quantity of fireworks as well as where they can be utilized. The permit will also designate when and how the fireworks can be used including restrictions on the time of use and distance from structures and spectators.
  • Residents and tourists treated equal – As long as a valid Wisconsin fireworks permit is purchased, it does not matter if you a resident of the State of Wisconsin.
  • Fines are steep – If you do not have a valid permit, you could face fines of up to $1000 per illegally possessed firework device and even jail time is some cases.

It is important to remember that fireworks laws are designed to keep everyone safe. If you have questions about your rights with regard to the sale, possession and usage of fireworks in the State of Wisconsin, contact the team and McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel.


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