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Mason City police release fact sheet on fireworks

This news story was published on June 27, 2017.
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MASON CITY – Some citizens in Mason City – not to mention other communities – are questioning the use of fireworks in city limits and in response, the Mason City police department today released a “fact sheet” to help clarify the dilemma.

City of Mason City Fireworks FAQ Sheet

1. Fireworks are legal now right? Can I shoot them off anywhere?

Last session, the Iowa legislature made changes to the fireworks law. The City Council also recently approved fireworks possession and sales in Mason City. Fireworks can legally be set off in Mason City on July 3 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. In addition, fireworks use was approved on December 31 from 9 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. on January 1. Those are the only three days each year that it is legal to set off fireworks in Mason City. Possession of fireworks is now legal at all times.

The new State law only allows you to discharge fireworks on your own property, or on someone else’s private property, with their permission. City Code Section 8-3-11 also restricts the places where fireworks may be discharged in the City of Mason City. They may not be set off on public property (including parks and cemeteries) or within 200 yards of hospitals, hospice care centers, or nursing homes. If you are outside of Mason City, please check local ordinances for your specific location to see if there are ordinances that are more restrictive than state law.

2. Can anyone buy fireworks? Who can shoot them off?

Fireworks can only be purchased by those eighteen years of age and older. They can be shot off by those under age eighteen, with proper adult supervision.

3. Where do I buy them? How do I know that the seller is licensed and approved?

The City of Mason City and the Mason City Fire Department are working through the inspection and sales permit process with fireworks vendors. Tent sales locations will be at Fareway, Hy-Vee East, Hy-Vee West, Wal- Mart, and Willow Inn. Tent sales will begin after inspections have been completed. Consumer fireworks can also be sold in brick-and-mortar stores that have obtained approval. For an up-to-date list of approved vendors, go to the following link to the State Marshal’s Office, here.

  1. What do I do if someone is setting off fireworks outside of the approved dates and times in Mason City?
    You may report the activity to the Mason City Police Department by calling dispatch at 641-421-3600. Please provide dispatch the location, nature of the complaint, and any other information that may help an officer to investigate the complaint.
  2. What happens to someone who is caught setting fireworks off outside of the prescribed dates, times, and/or places?
    In Mason City, a violation of City Code Section 8-3-11 is a municipal infraction. An infraction form is issued that sets a court date for the violation. The fine is set by a judge and can be up to $500 per violation.

6. What else do I need to know before using fireworks?

A couple of things. First, be a good neighbor. Respect others’ property and if you have someone in your neighborhood that is sensitive to the use of fireworks, please talk to them first. Restrict your personal use of fireworks to consumer fireworks during the approved days/times and clean up any debris that is left when you are done.

Second, be careful. If you are uncertain about how to use fireworks, do some research. Ask the vendor when you purchase about how to safely discharge fireworks. Make sure that you are using a clear, flat space and that you keep people back, especially children. Have a plan for fireworks that don’t properly detonate. In the event of an accident, call 911 for emergency assistance.

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3 Responses to Mason City police release fact sheet on fireworks

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 27, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    if you look at the fire marshal’s report, the Hy-Vee West location isn’t listed nor the location at the Willow Inn. Clear Lake has no listings because they only approved sales in “Heavy industrial zones,” which they don’t even have.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Just pony up the $500.00 and you can shoot them off. (Once)

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    If it feels good, do it.