Fireworks will go on sale again in Iowa communities later this week and the state fire marshal’s office expects the number of licensed sellers will increase by as much as 20 percent this year.
State Fire Marshal Dan Wood says many stands were not inspected last year because of the narrow window between passage of the law that now allows fireworks in Iowa and the 4th of July holiday. With as many as 800 licenses expected to be issued this year, Wood’s agency still may not be able to inspect them all.
“With the amount that there is and with the amount of staff we have to put at it, we’ll do our best, but I can’t guarantee that every place will get inspected,” Wood says. “I wish they could. Wood says his office is working hard to approve the plans for all licensees before the permanent stands begin selling on June 1st. Wood says the plans, though, are just a piece of paper.
“It’s, you know, what they plan on doing. Sometimes, not always, sometimes when they go to set up, it doesn’t get done the way the plans say they get done and that’s why we do inspections,” Wood says. “And we do inspections because we want them to be safe, too.” Temporary stands for selling fireworks may open for business on June 13th. Wood advises fireworks buyers to check their local ordinances about when and where to set off the fireworks around the 4th of July holiday.
(By Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell)