Fireworks Safety

What You Need to Know About Using Fireworks in Ankeny

  • Use of fireworks is limited to July 4 from 9 am to 11 pm in Ankeny. All cities and counties in the metro have different rules. This includes the use of first and second-class consumer fireworks only.
  • Explosives such as M-80s, quarter sticks, and display fireworks are illegal.
  • Residents may only use consumer fireworks on their own personal property or on the property of a person who has consented to the use of consumer fireworks on his/her property.
  • Use of fireworks on any public property is prohibited. This includes city streets, public parking lots, parks, etc.
  • Residents are asked to be courteous to their neighbors and to use good judgment when igniting fireworks.
  • Illegal use of fireworks can result in a fine up to $250.
  • To report the illegal use of fireworks contact the Polk County Dispatch non-emergency phone at 515-286-3333 option 5. This phone is answered 24 hours a day.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • While fireworks are legal on July 4, they are dangerous and can cause injury if they're not used properly. The Ankeny Fire Department offers the following tips to celebrate safely:
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, especially with sparklers.
  • Throw away used sparklers in a metal bucket of water so kids don't step on them with bare feet and so they don't get picked up by a lawn mower and become flying objects.
  • Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire and to douse used fireworks before discarding in the trash.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Never place a part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never mix alcohol or drugs or be impaired when lighting or shooting fireworks.
  • Fireworks may be fun for you, but be polite and understanding that some people and pets are afraid of fireworks. Be respectful and use good common sense when setting off fireworks, it is a privilege not a right and can be taken away if rules are not followed.
  • Clean up your fireworks debris the next day. One of the most common complaints we receive is from residents who wake up to a yard full of fireworks debris when they didn't set any off.

Pet Safety

More pets go missing on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. The Ankeny Police Department, along with the American Veterinary Medical Association, offers the following tips to keep your pets safe.

  • Leave your pet at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades, and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places, and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there's a great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Make sure your pets, cats and dogs alike, have identification tags with up-to-date information. Take a current photo of your pet, just in case.
  • Consider putting your pet in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks; leave gentle music playing to cover the noise.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, and fireworks away from curious pets.
  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play. Even if you didn't set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • If your pet is missing or you find a lost pet, please contact Polk County Dispatch at 515-286-3333.

What is the difference between display and consumer fireworks?

“Display fireworks” includes any explosive composition, or combination of explosive substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, and includes fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or other device containing any explosive substance. A person must obtain a permit through the city for display fireworks.

“Consumer fireworks” includes first-class consumer fireworks and second-class consumer fireworks.

“First-class consumer fireworks” means the following consumer fireworks:

  1. Aerial shell kits and reloadable tubes.
  2. Chasers.
  3. Helicopter and aerial spinners.
  4. Firecrackers.
  5. Mine and shell devices.
  6. Missile-type rockets. (7)Roman candles.
  7. Sky rockets and bottle rockets.
  8. Multiple tube devices

“Second-class consumer fireworks” means the following consumer fireworks:

  1. Cone fountains.
  2. Cylindrical fountains.
  3. Flitter sparklers.
  4. Ground and hand-held sparkling devices, including multiple tube ground and hand-held sparkling devices that are manufactured in accordance with APA87-1,section3.5.*
  5. Ground spinners.
  6. Illuminating torches.
  7. Toy smoke devices that are not classified as novelties pursuant to APA87-1,section 3.2.*
  8. Wheels.
  9. Wire or dipped sparklers that are not classified as novelties pursuant to APA87-1, section 3.2.*

* “APA87-1” means the American pyrotechnics association standard 87-1, as published in December 2001. View the Iowa state code on Fireworks (727.2).