As you finalize plans this 4th of July, be sure you are obeying the City of Johnston’s fireworks ordinance. Discharging fireworks within city limits is illegal. Novelty fireworks like sparklers and snakes are allowed.
Johnston prohibits the use of fireworks within the city limits. Disregarding the fireworks ordinance is a violation and is punishable by a fine up to $500 per violation. (City Code Chapter 41.12)
If fireworks are illegally discharged on private property, the property owner can be held responsible for sponsoring the gathering and associated fireworks activities. (City Code Chapter 40.07(1)(H))
In 2017, the Iowa legislature took action to allow sales of consumer fireworks in Iowa from June 1 through July 8. The City’s code limits the sale of fireworks to C-2 and C-3 retail, commercial zoning districts.
Even Sparklers Are Dangerous
Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.
Professional Fireworks Display
We encourage you to skip the fine, instead enjoy professional, permitted fireworks display in the metro area.
Grimes: 10:00 p.m., Saturday, July 4 at the South Sports Complex
Urbandale: 10:00 p.m., Saturday, July 4 at Walker Johnston Park west side
West Des Moines: At dusk, Saturday, July 4 over West Des Moines City/School Campus
For questions about Johnston’s fireworks ordinance, contact Fire Marshal Craig Ver Huel at 515-276-5182. To report illegal fireworks, call the Johnston Police Department at 515-278-2345. It is helpful if the caller provides a house address on where the fireworks are being discharged.