Fireworks Safety

National Safety Council, Nebraska works each year to educate the community on the dangers associated with fireworks.

The safest policy is to leave the fireworks shows to the professionals. However, those wishing to light fireworks need to follow Nebraska law and city ordinances. Additionally, safety measures should be taken to reduce the risk of injuries.

Fireworks by the numbers

  • Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.  
  • In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries. 
  • Source: NFPA’s Applied Research 

MORE INFORMATION FROM NFPA 
 

Nebraska State Law

State law only allows for fireworks to be sold between June 24 and July 5 or between December 28 and January 1. Local jurisdictions have the authority to be more restrictive. Always check with your local jurisdiction to find out what restrictions, if any, they may have on the dates fireworks may be sold.

A variety of fireworks may be sold across Nebraska; however, there are some restrictions. Fireworks sold at Nebraska stands must be legal in Nebraska. It is against the law to transport illegal fireworks into the state. For a full list of illegal fireworks, visit Nebraska State Fire Marshal site.

Consumer fireworks may only be possessed, used or discharged by a person 16 years of age or older; provided, that a person 12 years of age or older and less than 16 years of age may possess, use or discharge consumer fireworks, but only when in the immediate presence of and under the direct supervision of an adult 19 years of age or older.

City Ordinances

Omaha
Fireworks can be sold in the City of Omaha from June 28th through July 4th each year ONLY with a city issued permit.

Fireworks in Omaha city limits are legally allowed to be fired by residents from 12 p.m. noon to 11 p.m. July 2nd through July 4th and over the New Year’s holiday, from 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. 
Source: Omaha Municipal Code

Papillion
In Papillion, consumer fireworks may not be sold at retail or discharged except from June 25 through July 4 and only during the hours of 8 a.m. through 10 p.m. except that on July 4 consumer fireworks may be discharged and sold from 8 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. of each year. Consumer fireworks may also be sold at retail or discharged from December 29 through December 31 and only during the hours of 8 a.m. through 10 p.m. except that on December 31 consumer fireworks may be discharged and sold from 8 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. of each year. 
Source: https://www.papillion.org/301/City-Ordinances

La Vista 
La Vista residents may use fireworks between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. June 25th through July 2nd. On July 3rd and 4th, fireworks may be discharged 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Source: http://www.cityoflavista.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/445

Bellevue
Unless first expressly approved by the city council it shall be unlawful to sell or discharge fireworks in this city except between:

  • 8:00am to 10:00pm on any day from June 25 through July 3
  • 8:00am to 12 midnight on July 4 and
  • 9:00pm on December 31 to 12:30am on January 1

Source: https://www.bellevue.net/information/faq?QuestionID=39&AFMID=592

Gretna

Permissible fireworks may not be discharged except from June 25 through July 5 and December 29 through January 1 and only during the hours of 8:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m., except that on July 4 and December 31, permissible fireworks may be discharged from 8:00 a.m. through 12:00 midnight.

Source: http://www.gretnane.org/DocumentCenter/View/31/Chapter-8---Fire-Regulations-PDF

Although the above are general rules on when fireworks are allowed, local jurisdictions can be more restrictive.

More information and firework safety videos:

Fireworks Safety Tips

Using these tips can help ensure your fireworks show is a blast without anyone getting fined, injured or killed.

  • Only use fireworks where they are legal. Only use fireworks that are legal where you are shooting them, and be sure you are shooting on dates that are legal in your city. Don’t import fireworks from another state or city to use locally – they may not be legal where you are. Buy locally to be sure fireworks are both legal and safe.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only. This includes sparklers and snakes. All fireworks burn, and can quickly start a house fire. When outdoors, be sure there is enough room to point fireworks away from spectators, houses, buildings and flammable materials.
  • Use launching fireworks in open areas only to ensure they don't land on top of buildings and houses. Especially those with natural (cedar) type shingles.
  • Always pre-plan to have water handy, whether that is a bucket or a hose.
  • Have a first aid kit ready and waiting.
  • Keep young children away from fireworks – even sparklers! Children using fireworks should be at least 12 years old, and always closely supervised. 20% of fireworks injuries to children are caused by sparklers!
  • Use fireworks the way they were intended. Follow the lighting instructions on the package. Don’t combine them.
  • Don’t try to relight duds. Wait at least 20 minutes before handling a dud, then soak it in water before disposing of the dud.
  • Use a “designated shooter” who is alcohol free and wearing safety glasses! Light one device at a time, and keep a safe distance once a firework is lit. Don’t light fireworks in containers.
  • Don’t allow running or horseplay by anyone near fireworks.
  • Don't use fireworks while consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Always clean up after you are done celebrating.
Download Fireworks Safety Tips PDF Fireworks Information Center American Pyrotechnics Safety and Education Foundation National Fire Protection Association