Code of Ordinances

of Union County, Illinois.

Ordinance Chapter: Article V - Fireworks Code

It is unlaw­ful for any per­son to dis­charge or use fire­works in a reck­less man­ner which cre­ates a sub­stan­tial risk of death or seri­ous phys­i­cal injury to anoth­er per­son or dam­age to the prop­er­ty of another.

The Fire Chief or designee, is autho­rized to enforce all pro­vi­sions of this Code and, in addi­tion to crim­i­nal sanc­tions or civ­il reme­dies, may revoke any per­mit issued pur­suant to this Code upon any fail­ure or refusal of the per­mit­tee to com­ply with the law­ful orders and direc­tives of the Fire Chief or designee, or to com­ply with any pro­vi­sions of this Code or the require­ments of the com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment code relat­ing to tem­po­rary structures.

This Code is intend­ed to imple­ment applic­a­ble State law, to wit, Chap­ters 225 ILCS 227 and 425 ILCS 35, and shall be con­strued in con­nec­tion, with that law and any and all rules or reg­u­la­tions issued pur­suant to that law.

The pro­vi­sions of this Code shall not be applic­a­ble to toy paper caps con­tain­ing not more than twen­­­ty-five hun­dredths grain of explo­sive com­pound for each cap and trick nor to nov­el­ty device not clas­si­fied as com­mon fireworks.

This Code does not pro­hib­it the use of flares or fus­es in con­nec­tion with the oper­a­tion of motor vehi­cles, rail­roads, or oth­er trans­porta­tion agen­cies for sig­nal pur­pos­es or illu­mi­na­tion or for use in for­est pro­tec­tion activities.

This Code does not pro­hib­it the assem­bling, com­pound­ing, use and dis­play of spe­cial effects of what­ev­er nature by any per­son engaged in the pro­duc­tion of motion pic­tures, radio, or tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions, the­atri­cals or operas when such use and dis­play is a nec­es­sary part of the pro­duc­tion and such per­son pos­sess­es a valid per­mit issued by the Coun­ty in accor­dance with Sec­tions 7–5‑7 and 7–5‑8 of this Code.

It shall be unlaw­ful for any per­son to dis­charge or pos­sess any fire­works upon pub­lic land or in any pub­lic park, owned by the Coun­ty, pro­vid­ed, how­ev­er, that such use shall be per­mit­ted under the fol­low­ing circumstances:

(A) This pro­vi­sion shall not apply to pos­ses­sion of fire­works in the oth­er­wise law­ful use of pub­lic rights of way such as side­walks and plant­i­ng strips.  This sub­sec­tion shall not be a defense to a charge of obstruct­ing traf­fic or oth­er­wise obstruct­ing a pub­lic right of way.

(B) The Fire Chief shall des­ig­nate lim­it­ed areas for use dur­ing the hours per­mit­ted by the Arti­cle for the dis­charge of fire­works as allowed by Sec­tion 7–5‑5 of this Arti­cle.  Oth­er­wise law­ful dis­charge and pos­ses­sion of fire­works as allowed by Sec­tion 7–5‑5 in such areas shall not be a vio­la­tion of this Sec­tion.  In doing so, the Fire Chief shall consider:

  1. The sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the area’s envi­ron­ment, wildlife and wildlife habitat;
  2. The incon­ve­nience and nui­sance to abut­ting prop­er­ty owners;
  3. The safe­ty and suit­abil­i­ty of the area as a place for the dis­charge of fire­works; and
  4. Dan­ger of fire or oth­er destruc­tion of pub­lic prop­er­ty and improve­ments from the use of the fireworks.

(C) Upon des­ig­na­tion of any area, it shall be signed and post­ed by July 1stof each year for use on July 4th between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M.  Des­ig­na­tion of any area may be appealed in writ­ing to the Coun­ty Board by any cit­i­zen of the Coun­ty.  The deci­sion of the Coun­ty Board shall be final.

(D) Noth­ing in this Arti­cle shall be deemed to lim­it the author­i­ty of the Coun­ty Board to allow event dis­play of spe­cial fire­works under a per­mit issued in accor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the Code and State statutes.

All pub­lic fire­works dis­plays shall con­form to the fol­low­ing min­i­mum stan­dards and conditions:

(A) All pub­lic fire­works dis­plays shall be planned, orga­nized and dis­charged by pyrotech­ni­cian, “Pyrotech­ni­cian” means an indi­vid­ual who by expe­ri­ence and train­ing has demon­strat­ed the required skill and abil­i­ty for safe­ty set­ting up and dis­charg­ing dis­plays of spe­cial fire­works.  All indi­vid­u­als shall have a license under the pro­vi­sions of the Pyrotech­nic Dis­trib­u­tor and Oper­a­tor Licens­ing Act. (225 ILCS 227)

(B) A per­mit must be obtained from the Coun­ty and approved by the Fire Chief or designee pri­or to any dis­play of pub­lic fire­works.  The per­mit shall include the name of the appli­cant and his or her address, the name of the Pyrotech­ni­cian and his or her address; the exact loca­tion, date and time of the pro­posed dis­play; the num­ber, type and class of fire­works to be dis­played the man­ner in which the fire­works are being stored pri­or to the pub­lic fire­works dis­play; and shall include the name and address of the insur­ance com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing the bond required.

(C) A draw­ing shall be sub­mit­ted to the Fire Chief show­ing a plan view of the fire­works dis­charge site and the sur­round­ing area with­in a five hun­dred (500) foot radius.

The draw­ing shall include all struc­tures, fences, bar­ri­cades, street fields, streams and any oth­er sig­nif­i­cant fac­tors that may be sub­ject­ed to igni­tion or that may inhib­it fire­fight­ing capabilities.

(D) When, in the opin­ion of the Fire Chief, such require­ment is nec­es­sary to pre­serve the pub­lic health, safe­ty and wel­fare, the per­mit may require that a Fire Depart­ment pumper and a min­i­mum of two trained fire­fight­ers shall be on site thir­ty (30) min­utes pri­or to and after the shoot­ing of the event.  The exhibitor shall repay the Coun­ty for all costs to fire­fight­ers for such time.

(E) All com­bustible debris and trash shall be removed from the area of dis­charge for a dis­tance of three hun­dred (300) feet in all directions.

(F) All unfired or “dud” fire­works shall be dis­posed of in a safe manner.

(G) A min­i­mum of two 2A-rat­ed pres­sur­ized water fire extin­guish­ers and one fire blan­ket shall be required to be at the fire­works dis­charge site.

(H) The per­mit shall be imme­di­ate­ly revoked at any time the Fire Chief or a designee deems such revo­ca­tion is nec­es­sary due to non­com­pli­ance, weath­er con­di­tions such as, but not lim­it­ed to, extreme­ly low humid­i­ty or high winds.  The dis­play shall also be can­celled by acci­den­tal igni­tion of any form of com­bustible or flam­ma­ble mate­r­i­al in the vicin­i­ty due to falling debris from the display.

(I) Areas of pub­lic access shall be deter­mined by the Fire Chief or design­er and main­tained in an approved manner.

The tem­po­rary stands of all seller’s per­mit hold­ers shall con­form to the fol­low­ing min­i­mum stan­dards and conditions:

(A) Tem­po­rary fire­works stands need not com­ply with all pro­vi­sions of the Build­ing Code; pro­vid­ed, how­ev­er, that all such stands be erect­ed under the super­vi­sion of the Sher­iff, who shall require all stands to be con­struct­ed in a safe man­ner ensur­ing the safe­ty of atten­dants and patrons.  In the event any tem­po­rary stand is wired for elec­tric­i­ty, the wiring shall con­form to the elec­tri­cal code.

(B) No tem­po­rary fire­works stand shall be locat­ed with­in fifty (50) feet of any oth­er build­ing or struc­ture, nor with­in two hun­dred fifty (250) feet of any gaso­line sta­tion, oil stor­age tank or premis­es where flam­ma­ble liq­uids or gas­es are kept or stored.

(C) Each tem­po­rary fire­works stand must have at least two exits, which shall be unob­struct­ed at all times.

(D) Each tem­po­rary fire­works stand shall have, in a read­i­ly acces­si­ble place, at least two, two and one-half (2½) gal­lon pres­sur­ized water fire extin­guish­ers which are in good work­ing order.

(E) All weeds, grass, and com­bustible mate­r­i­al shall be cleared from the loca­tion of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand and the sur­round­ing area to a dis­tance of not less than twen­­­ty-five (25) feet, mea­sured from the exte­ri­or walls of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand.

(F) No smok­ing shall be per­mit­ted in or near a tem­po­rary fire­works stand for a dis­tance of not less than fifty (50) feet mea­sured from the exte­ri­or walls of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand.  Signs stat­ing: No Smok­ing With­in 50 Feet” shall be post­ed on the exte­ri­or of each wall of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand.

(G) Each tem­po­rary fire­works stand shall have a per­son who is eigh­teen (18) years old or old­er in atten­dance at all times the stand is stocked.  Stock from the stand shall not be removed and stored in any oth­er build­ing dur­ing the sales peri­od with­out the express approval of the Fire Chief for the loca­tion involved.

(H) All unsold stock and accom­pa­ny­ing lit­ter shall be removed from the tem­po­rary fire­works stand by 12:00 Noon on the sev­enth (7th) day of July of each year.

(I) No tem­po­rary fire­works stand shall be locat­ed with­in five hun­dred (500) feet of any oth­er tem­po­rary fire­works stand.

(J) Each tem­po­rary fire­works stand shall have pro­vi­sions for suf­fi­cient off-street park­ing, at least fif­teen (15) spaces, to avoid imped­ing a con­tin­u­ous flow of traf­fic at entrances and exits from the premises.

(K) No per­son shall dis­charge any fire­works with­in two hun­dred fifty (250) feet of the exte­ri­or walls of any tem­po­rary fire­works stand.  Signs stat­ing: “No dis­charge of fire­works with­in 250 feet.” shall be post­ed on the exte­ri­or of all walls of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand.

All approved fire­works as set forth in Sec­tion 7–5‑5 of this Arti­cle except toy paper caps con­tain­ing not more than twen­­­ty-five hun­dredths grain of explo­sive com­pound for each cap and trick or nov­el­ty device not clas­si­fied as com­mon fire­works, shall be sold and dis­trib­uted only from tem­po­rary stands.

Appli­ca­tions for seller’s per­mits shall be made to the Coun­ty Clerk annu­al­ly on or after April 1st of the year for which the per­mit is issued and the fil­ing peri­od shall close on April 15th of such year unless extend­ed by action of the Coun­ty Board.  Appli­ca­tions shall be signed by the retail sell­er, if an indi­vid­ual, or by the duly autho­rized offi­cer, if an asso­ci­a­tion or cor­po­ra­tion.  It is unlaw­ful for a fire­works man­u­fac­tur­er, whole­saler or sup­pli­er to make appli­ca­tion for or to obtain a retail sales per­mit on behalf of any retail­er.  Seller’s per­mits for the sale of those fire­works allowed pur­suant to Sec­tion 7–5‑4 of this Arti­cle shall be issued only to appli­cants meet­ing the fol­low­ing conditions:

(A) The retail­er or per­son in charge and respon­si­ble for the retail oper­a­tion shall be twen­­­ty-one (21) years of age or old­er, of good moral char­ac­ter and of demon­strat­ed responsibility.

(B) The appli­cant shall have a valid and cur­rent license issued by the State of Illi­nois autho­riz­ing the hold­er to engage in the retail sale of fire­works.  (See 425 ILCS 35)

(C) The appli­cant shall own or have the right to pos­sess a tem­po­rary fire­works stand com­ply­ing with the require­ments of this Article.

(D) The appli­cant shall pro­cure and main­tain a pol­i­cy or poli­cies of pub­lic lia­bil­i­ty and prop­er­ty dam­age insur­ance issued by a com­pa­ny or com­pa­nies autho­rized to do busi­ness in the State of Illi­nois in the fol­low­ing min­i­mum amounts: Five Hun­dred Thou­sand Dol­lars ($500,000.00) for injuries to any one per­son in one acci­dent or occur­rence; One Mil­lion Dol­lars ($1,000,000.00) for injuries to two or more per­sons in any one acci­dent or occur­rence; Five Hun­dred Thou­sand Dol­lars ($500,000.00) for dam­age to prop­er­ty in any one acci­dent or occur­rence; One Mil­lion Dol­lars ($1,000,000.00) com­bined sin­gle lim­it for any one acci­dent or occur­rence.  In addi­tion, the Coun­ty is to be an addi­tion­al named insured and the pol­i­cy shall pro­vide for the imme­di­ate noti­fi­ca­tion of the Coun­ty by the insur­er of any can­cel­la­tion of any policy.

(E) The per­mit holder’s loca­tion or place of busi­ness shall be only in those areas or zones with­in the Coun­ty where com­mer­cial activ­i­ties are autho­rized under applic­a­ble zon­ing law; pro­vid­ed, that the sale of those fire­works autho­rized by Sec­tion 7–5‑5 of this Arti­cle shall not be deemed an enlarge­ment of an exist­ing non­con­form­ing use.

(F) The appli­cant shall post with the Coun­ty a per­for­mance bond or a cash deposit in an amount not less than Two Hun­dred Dol­lars ($200.00) con­di­tioned upon the prompt removal of the tem­po­rary fire­works stand and the clean­ing up of all debris from the site of the stand, which deposit shall be returned to the appli­cant only in the event that the appli­cant removes the tem­po­rary stand and cleans up all debris to the sat­is­fac­tion of the Coun­ty.  In the event the appli­cant fails to do so, the per­for­mance bond or cash deposit shall be for­feit­ed.  In no event shall the appli­cant be enti­tled to the return of the per­for­mance bond or cash deposit if he or she has failed to remove the stand and clean up all debris by the tenth (10th) of July fol­low­ing the sales period.

(G) No seller’s per­mit shall be issued for a loca­tion which fails to meet the cri­te­ria set forth in Sec­tion 7–5‑11 of this Arti­cle, includ­ing the min­i­mum stand sep­a­ra­tion require­ment.  When nec­es­sary, in order to deter­mine pri­or­i­ty as to a pro­posed loca­tion, the ear­li­est date and time of fil­ing of an appli­ca­tion for a seller’s per­mit with the Coun­ty Clerk shall be controlling.

Appli­ca­tions for a per­mit to con­duct a pub­lic dis­play of fire­works shall be made to the Fire Chief at least four­teen (14) days pri­or to the sched­uled event.  Appli­cants shall meet all qual­i­fi­ca­tions and require­ments of state law regard­ing pub­lic dis­play of fire­works and all fire and safe­ty require­ments as set forth in the stan­dards for pub­lic dis­play, and as set forth in Sec­tion 7–5‑12 of this Article.

(A) Sell­ers.  Each seller’s per­mit issued under this Arti­cle shall be for only one retail out­let.  The num­ber of seller’s per­mits shall not be lim­it­ed as long as all con­di­tions are met as stat­ed in Sec­tion 7–5‑11 of this Arti­cle.  Each seller’s per­mit issued pur­suant to this Arti­cle shall be valid only for the cur­rent year, shall be used only by the des­ig­nat­ed per­mit­tee and shall be nontransferable.

(B) Pub­lic Dis­play Per­mit.  Each pub­lic dis­play per­mit issued pur­suant to this Arti­cle shall be valid for the spe­cif­ic autho­rized pub­lic dis­play event only, shall be used only by the des­ig­nat­ed per­mit­tee and shall be non­trans­fer­able.  Any trans­fer or unau­tho­rized use of a per­mit is vio­la­tion of this Arti­cle and shall void the per­mit grant­ed in addi­tion to all oth­er sanc­tions pro­vid­ed in this Article.

The annu­al fee for a “seller’s per­mit” for the sale of fire­works as may be autho­rized under this Arti­cle, shall be One Hun­dred Dol­lars ($100.00)per year for each seller’s per­mit, payable in advance.  The fee for a “pub­lic dis­play per­mit” for the pub­lic dis­play of fire­works shall be One Hun­dred Dol­lars ($100.00), payable in advance, unless waived by the Coun­ty Board.

No per­mit hold­er shall offer for retail sale or sell any fire­works with­in the Coun­ty except from 12:00 Noon on the 28th of June to 12:00 Noon on the 6th of July of each year.  No fire­works may be sold or dis­charged between the hours of 11:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M.  Pro­vid­ed, the sale and use of fire­works as pro­vid­ed in this Sec­tion shall be lim­it­ed to the following:

Dipped stick, sparklers and smoke devices.

It is unlaw­ful for any per­son to engage in the retail sale of or to sell fire­works or to hold, con­duct, or engage in a pub­lic dis­play of fire­works with­in the Coun­ty with­out first hav­ing obtained a valid per­mit issued pur­suant to the pro­vi­sions of this Article.

It is unlaw­ful for any per­son to sell, pos­sess, use, trans­fer, dis­charge or explode any dan­ger­ous fire­work with­in the Coun­ty; pro­vid­ed that this pro­hi­bi­tion shall not apply to duly autho­rized pub­lic displays.

It is unlaw­ful for any per­son to sell any fire­works with­in the Coun­ty oth­er than those fire­works des­ig­nat­ed in Sec­tion 7–5‑5 of this Arti­cle, pro­vid­ed that this pro­hi­bi­tion shall not apply to duly autho­rized pub­lic displays.

As used in this Arti­cle, the fol­low­ing terms shall have the fol­low­ing mean­ings, unless the con­text clear­ly indi­cates that a dif­fer­ent mean­ing is intended:

Com­mon Fire­works:  Any fire­works designed pri­mar­i­ly to pro­duce visu­al or audi­ble effects by combustion.

(A) The term includes:

  1. Ground and hand-held sparkling devices, includ­ing items com­mon­ly known as dipped sticks, sparklers, cylin­dri­cal foun­tains, cone foun­tains, illu­mi­nat­ing torch­es, wheels, ground spin­ners, and flit­ter sparklers;
  2. Smoke devices;
  3. Fire­works com­mon­ly known as heli­copters, aeri­als, spin­ners, roman can­dles, mines and shells;
  4. Class C explo­sives clas­si­fied as com­mon fire­works by the Unit­ed States Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, by reg­u­la­tions found in the Code of Fed­er­al Reg­u­la­tions.

(B) The term does not include fire­works com­mon­ly known as fire­crack­ers, salutes, chasers, sky­rock­ets, and mis­­­sile-type rockets.

Dan­ger­ous Fire­works:  Any fire­works not defined as a “com­mon firework”.

Fire­works:  Any com­po­si­tion or device, in a fin­ished state, con­tain­ing any com­bustible or explo­sive sub­stance for the pur­pose of pro­duc­ing a vis­i­ble or audi­ble effect by com­bus­tion, explo­sion, defla­gra­tion, or det­o­na­tion, and clas­si­fied as com­mon or spe­cial fireworks.

Spe­cial Fire­works:  Any fire­works designed pri­mar­i­ly for exhi­bi­tion dis­play by pro­duc­ing vis­i­ble or audi­ble effects.  The term includes:

  • Fire­works com­mon­ly known as sky­rock­ets, mis­­­sile-type rock­ets, fire­crack­ers, salutes, and chasers; and
  • Fire­works not clas­si­fied as com­mon fireworks.