As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, a reminder that fireworks are illegal in Iowa.
Many people travel to Missouri to purchase fireworks, where they are legal to use. However, Iowa residents cannot use or sell fireworks and Ottumwa City Code prohibits the possession of consumer fireworks within the city limits. If you're caught with fireworks, they will be confiscated and sent to the State Fire Marshall's office.
You could also be fined up to $500.
The only fireworks Iowa residents can use are sparklers and snakes. However, the Ottumwa Fire Department urges safety when using them.
"The thing about sparklers is they're about as dangerous as any of the fireworks you can have, for obvious reasons," said Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller. "We have kids every year that stop on the hot pieces of iron and burn their foot and end up in the ER. So if you have them, we suggest having a thing of water sitting nearby. Once the kids get done playing with the sparklers, dump the water so it does not cause any damage."
OFD will also be assisting with the city fireworks display at Ottumwa Park. Generally, all entrances to the park are closed and fire department and police personnel make sure residents aren't bringing in any of their own fireworks.
The fireworks display will be held shortly after sunset on Friday in Ottumwa Park.