Currently, the Iowa Administrative Code 661-265 requires that the State Fire Marshal (SFM), or designee, inspect Consumer Fireworks Retail Sales Facilities prior to the issuance of licenses. This is not a new rule, it was instituted in January of 2018 through the administrative rule process. This process is not something that the SFM office has the sole authority to change or rewrite without legislative committee oversight and approval. Over the last two years, the SFM office has been making its best efforts to initiate the Fireworks Licensing Program. Taking this into consideration with current staffing levels, our office has been unable to meet the timeline outlined in this rule. Previously a letter was sent out as a notice of change in practice and not a change in the rules. The recommendations in the letter were suggestions, not requirements, meant to help vendors prepare for this new practice.
After this letter was sent out, numerous concerns were raised with our office as well as with members of the legislature. After reviewing and considering these concerns, State Fire Marshal Dan Wood decided that a change was necessary to the administrative rules to allow the Fireworks Licensing Program to be safe while also keeping it in line with similarly situated programs in other state. At that time, proposed new administrative rules were drafted and shared with some stakeholders, with a consensus agreement that these changes would make for a successful program moving forward. The new rules included a provision that allowed licenses to be issued at the time applications were approved as long as there were not “serious violations” the prior year. Also, inspections under these new rules would be required sometime during the selling season, but not prior to the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the decision has been made to delay the filing of these administrative rules until after the 2020 fireworks selling season. Our office has been given approval to not enforce the current inspection requirements in IAC 661-265. Therefore, inspection practice of previous years will remain for the 2020 selling season. You will still be required to contact your inspector to schedule an inspection during the selling season, but not prior to the selling season, as required by administrative rule and the letter sent by our office.
Please note, some local jurisdictions require temporary structure permits and inspections that are separate and distinct from a fireworks license inspection. These temporary structure permits are not specific to Consumer Fireworks Retail Sales Facilities, and they are often required for street fairs (i.e.: farmers markets and art festivals). It is possible that the same inspector for a local jurisdiction performs the temporary structure inspection at the same time as the fireworks license inspection. If this is the case, then the requirement to have the site inspected prior to the sales of fireworks is due to a local ordinance requiring the temporary structure inspection, and not the Consumer Fireworks Retail Sale License inspection. Please check with your local jurisdictions about any requirements that are associated with temporary structures and retail spaces.
There will be further information on this topic in the coming weeks as we upload Fireworks Licensing training videos to our website. Also, appropriate notice will be given regarding any new changes that will affect future selling seasons. Thank you for your patience during this time.
NEW retail sites or sites CHANGING ADDRESS must FIRST submit the New Business or Site Request Form online under My Applications from your online user account.
***Applicants should review local fireworks laws prior to applying for a retail license. The State Fire Marshal will not consult local fireworks regulations when reviewing an application.***
The State of Iowa does not regulate display fireworks. Please check with the local jurisdiction(s) regarding any requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions.
Consumer Fireworks Vendor Training Video Series
Video 1: Introduction to Applicable Codes
Video 2: Understanding the Application Part 1
Video 3: Understanding the Application Part 2
Video 4: Types of Products
Video 5: Permanent Structures
Video 6: Temporary Structures
Video 7: Code Specifics
- Fee Structure
Permanent Building devoting 50% or more floor space to retail sale of fireworks = $1,000 annual license fee
Temporary Structure devoting 50% or more floor space to retail sales of fireworks = $500 annual license fee
Permanent Building or Temporary Structure devoting less than 50% floor space to retail sales of fireworks = $400 annual license fee
Community Group (non-profit) selling fireworks = $400 annual license fee
Retailer or Community Group selling Second Class Only fireworks = $100 annual license fee.
***For new site licensees or sites making changes, a $100 non-refundable administrative fee is due prior to review of site plans. The fee is subtracted from the total license fee.
- Site Plan Samples
Q. Is my site a permanent or temporary structure?
PERMANENT: As applied to buildings or structures: a building or structure affixed to a foundation on a site.
TEMPORARY: As applied to buildings or structures: a building or structure not meeting the definition for permanent structure.
Q. What is a STORE?
A building classified as a mercantile occupancy that contains a variety of merchandise and that is not used primarily for the retail sales of consumer fireworks. The maximum consumer fireworks retail floor area shall be less than 25% of the retail floor area OR 600 square feet, whichever is less. Aerial and audible ground device sales have specific restrictions per NFPA 1124 section 188.8.131.52.
Q. What is a FACILITY?
A building that does not meet the definition of a "store" shall be considered a facility.
Q. What is a STAND?
A small, often open-air structure for a small retail business. May also include a portable building or trailer not affixed to a foundation. (A stand NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC is a small, often open-air structure for a small business where only retail personnel are inside the stand and the public do not physically enter.)
Q. What is a TENT?
A collapsible shelter of fabric (such as nylon or canvas) stretched and sustained by poles and used as a temporary building. Includes temporary retail sales of consumer fireworks in tents, canopies, and membrane structures.
Q. What is STORAGE?
A building or structure in which finished consumer fireworks are received, stored, and shipped. The storage can be either a permanent structure or a temporary "trailer, semitrailer, or metal shipping container".
- Certificate of Liability Insurance Information
- Codes and Standards
- Consumer Fireworks Safety Information
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Fireworks Information
US Consumer Product Safety Commission - Fireworks
US Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2018 Fireworks Annual Report
Fireworks Fact Sheet
American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation - Celebrate Safely
American Pyrotechnics - Safety & Education Foundation Flyer
- Consumer Fireworks Recall Information
Visit the USCPSC's Recall website at https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls and search for "fireworks".
The Consumer Fireworks Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Grant Application period for 2020 is now open.