The fourth of July is just three weeks away and heads are again spinning as folks are trying to figure out local fireworks laws.

With roadside fireworks stands starting to pop up everywhere, it's obvious that selling the whiz-bang items in Iowa is legal. But can you fire them off in your neighborhood without risking a stiff fine?

We're here to help save you a few bucks... and maybe a few fingers.

In Cedar Rapids, the only legal novelty fireworks are sparklers, caps and snakes according to the city's website. Fines for shooting off anything skyward, louder and larger can run up to $625, according to a Facebook post from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

The City of Cedar Rapids website also states:

In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries.

CBS2 reports that In Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion, fireworks are only allowed to be fired off on the fourth of July from 9 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the unincorporated parts of Linn County. In Iowa City the rules for sales and usage are even more strict.

Most counties also have additional rules regarding the use and sale of fireworks so if it still seems confusing, that's because it is confusing. The safest way to go is to stick with the little stuff. But if that's not enough fun, just remember to follow a few safety precautions.

  • Set out a safe zone and keep the kids away.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby.
  • Read and follow the instructions - "lay on ground, light fuse, get away"

Smart advice.

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