As we officially kick-off the start of summer, one of our country’s greatest pastimes is watching fireworks. Fireworks can, however, be extremely dangerous, cause emotional stress for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scare our beloved animal companions, and ignite fast-moving fires – especially during very dry conditions like we are currently experiencing.
Are fireworks legal in Brooklyn Park?
Short answer: if they do not explode or fly in the sky, yes. If they go boom or soar through the air, no.
Longer answer: The sale, possession and use of certain non-explosive and non-aerial consumer fireworks is permitted in Minnesota, including Brooklyn Park.
Examples of legal fireworks include:
- Cones and tubes that emit sparks
- Novelty items like snakes, and party poppers.
- A more detailed list is available here.
Consumer fireworks may not be used on public property (i.e. parks, roads, alleys, schools, government property, etc.). Purchasers of consumer fireworks must be at least 18 years old and retailers are required to check photo identification of purchasers before selling these products.
Examples of illegal fireworks include:
- Bottle rockets
- Roman candles
- Mortars and shells
- A more detailed list is available here.
While several neighboring states have legalized the purchase and display of explosive and aerial fireworks, it is illegal to possess and use these types of fireworks in Minnesota. Do not bring illegal fireworks back to Minnesota! Anything that flies or explodes is illegal in Minnesota, including Brooklyn Park.
Explosive and aerial fireworks are prohibited for public sale, possession, and use. In addition to the seizure of illegal fireworks, violators can face significant fines (up to $3,000) and possible imprisonment.
The discharge of illegal fireworks generates a significant number of complaints every year. These calls are typically routed through 911 and tie up public safety resources.
The city’s fire and police departments do not have the resources to devote solely to handling fireworks complaints. The police department’s current priority is reducing violent crime and handling high-priority calls.
To help ensure our officers are available to respond to priority emergency calls, we ask that residents do not discharge illegal fireworks.
If you have a complaint…
If you need to call to report a fireworks complaint, please dial 911. Fireworks complaint calls will be answered based on the availability of officers in handling other priority emergency calls.
One of the common challenges that law enforcement encounters when they receive a fireworks complaint is that they are only given the general area of where the fireworks are coming from. Sometimes the call is also delayed. Please try to be as detailed as possible, including providing the address of where they are originating from. This will allow the officer to follow-up with the homeowner if they are unable to respond immediately or are not able to verify in-person where they are originating from.
Dangers of fireworks
There is an average of 75 hospital visits each year in Minnesota due to fireworks injuries; nearly 45 percent of these injuries are to children. While legal in Minnesota, sparklers account for 30% of these injuries. Sparklers burn at about 3,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
Much of the state is experiencing record drought conditions. This has led to extreme fire danger conditions and red flag warnings. Dry vegetation, including grass, trees, scrubs, and even mulch, can quickly catch on fire. In some cases, the conditions are explosive and can result in extensive property damage.
Aerial fireworks – such as mortars and shells – can spread hot embers thousands of feet away in multiple directions. Embers can land on dry vegetation, roofs, or other flammable material. Fires can quickly start and burn out of control. Brooklyn Park firefighters have already responded to a grass fire that was caused by fireworks.
If you cause a fire…
All fires in Brooklyn Park are investigated by certified arson investigators. Depending on the size and severity of the fire, our local investigators may call for additional county, state, and federal investigative support, including the ATF. If it is determined that a fire was caused by the illegal and/or reckless discharge of fireworks, the person responsible could face significant criminal and civil penalties, including a charge of arson.
- Fireworks can be fun, but are also very dangerous.
- Please enjoy legal, consumer grade fireworks.
- Leave the explosives and flying ones up to the trained, licensed, and insured professionals.
- We wish you a happy and safe summer!