Before you bring the boom this 4th of July, take a few minutes to know what you can and can't do.

There's no doubt that fireworks are fun. Depending on how much money you're willing to spend, there's something captivating about colorful explosions. But as entertaining as they are, remember that fireworks are essentially explosives that burn at an extremely high heat  and can cause serious damage if not handled properly. While you want to have fun and celebrate our nation's independence, you also want to make sure you still have all your appendages when the show is over.

Like all states, Indiana and Kentucky have ordinances in place that spell out the time frame residents are allowed to shoot off their fireworks, as well as restrictions on where those fireworks can be used.

Indiana law states:

The Indiana State Fire Marshal is reminding Hoosiers who plan on celebrating Independence Day with fireworks to know the law before they light a fuse. Indiana’s fireworks laws can be found in Indiana Code 22-11-14, and cover when, where, and who can discharge fireworks.

“Fireworks are a holiday tradition for many Hoosier families on the 4th of July. Indiana’s fireworks laws were created to help protect families and communities from the danger fireworks can present if not used properly,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson.

Where Can Fireworks be Legally Discharged?

Fireworks may be discharged on the user’s property, the property of someone who has granted permission, or at locally-approved special discharge locations. Remember, those setting off fireworks are still responsible for any property damaged by their fireworks even if they were discharged from a legal location. Keep that in mind when using bottle rockets, roman candles, or any other aerial fireworks.

When Can Fireworks be Used?

According to state law, fireworks may be discharged between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days other than holidays. On holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve) they can be discharged until midnight. On June 29-30, July 1-3 and 5-9, fireworks can be discharged until two hours past sunset.

Communities in Indiana may have ordinances in place that further restrict the days and hours in which fireworks can be used. Please contact local fire departments or local officials to find out what the restrictions are.

Who Can Use Fireworks?

Fireworks can only be purchased by persons 18 years of age and older. Children may only possess or use fireworks when an adult is present and is responsible for the child’s conduct. A person less than 18 years of age who possesses or uses fireworks without an adult present is committing a Class C infraction.

What Could Happen if Fireworks Laws are Violated?

  • Persons who use fireworks at any place other than their own property, someone else’s property with proper permission or a special discharge location, may face up to a $500 fine.
  • Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks that harm someone else is a criminal offense that may result in six months to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally using fireworks that causes damage to someone else’s property is a criminal offense that may result in one year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Contact local law enforcement to report someone violating fireworks laws.

For more information about fireworks safety and fireworks laws, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.

What happens if something goes wrong because you weren't careful? Depending on the damage caused, penalty's can range from a simple fine to jail time. The law states:

A. A person who uses consumer fireworks at any place other than the 3 options listed in 2c or at times other than those listed in 2d,commits a class C infraction that may result in a maximum fine of $500 per infraction. More than 1 infraction in 5 years may constitute a change of a class C misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment up to 60 days and a maximum fine of $500.

B. A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally uses consumer fireworks and damages someone else’s property commits a class A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to 1 year and a maximum fine of $10,000.

C. A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally uses consumer fireworks and causes serious injury to someone else, commits a class D felony punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

D. A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally uses consumer fireworks that causes death, commits a class C felony punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 8 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
E. A person less than 18 years of age who possesses or uses a firework when an adult is not present and responsible at the location commits a Class C infraction that may result in a fine of up to $500 per infraction.

View the complete ordinance as well as firework safety tips on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website.