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Janesville Police Department
Monday June 27th, 2022 :: 10:34 a.m. CDT


The Janesville Police and Fire Departments remind residents to be safe and responsible this Independence Day Holiday period.

As we approach Independence Day the Janesville Police and Fire Departments remind residents to enjoy this great holiday responsibly.  Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious injuries.  Follow these safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission when using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Residents are encouraged to pay close attention to the caution labels on all fireworks prior to purchase.  The caution labels are a statement describing the hazard(s) associated with the device, such as "SHOOTS FLAMING BALLS" or "EMITS SHOWERS OR SPARKS".   

Additionally, the Janesville Police Department reminds citizens that possessing fireworks without a permit issued by the city could result in a citation being issued.  Fines are $263.50 for an adult and $100 for persons under 17 years old.  Below are examples of what are legal and illegal by state statute.

Legal Without A Permit  
State law allows the sale, possession, and use, without a permit, of sparklers not exceeding 36 inches in length, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture, and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(1). There is no age restriction on sale, possession or use of these devices and the statute does not classify them as fireworks. These are the only kinds of “fireworks,” as that word is commonly used, that a person may use or possess without a permit or that may be sold to a person who does not have a permit.

Illegal Without A Permit
Possessing or using any other fireworks, including, for example, firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, in Wisconsin without a valid permit is illegal. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(3). A commonly used rule of thumb is that a permit is required if the device explodes or leaves the ground. The sale of these restricted fireworks to a resident of this state without a valid permit is also illegal. Wis. Stat. § 167.10(2).

The below video links offer additional information on firework safety.

The Janesville Police Department would also like to remind residents to be responsible while consuming alcohol during the Independence Day holiday period.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2016 to 2020, there were 1,390 drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 41% of the drivers killed were drunk. Residents consuming alcohol should plan ahead to have a designated driver or consider alternative means of travel such as ride-share services. 

Janesville Police Department
100 N Jackson St
Janesville, WI 53548

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 608-755-3100

Benjamin M. Thompson & Suzann North
Community Services Division/ JFD Fire Marshall
[email protected]

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