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Retail Fireworks – Business Registration and Commercial Insurance Information

Monday, June 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Admin

Iowa’s Former Governor Terry Branstad signed into law Iowa Senate File 489 on May 9th, 2017. In summary, this law allows the following, in the State of Iowa, regarding the possession, sale, transfer, purchase and use of consumer fireworks (as further defined by the law):

  • Licensed retailers and community groups will be allowed to sell fireworks out of permanent structures to adults between the dates of June 1st and July 8th, and again between December 10th and January 3rd.
  • Licensed retailers and community groups will be allowed to sell fireworks out of temporary structures to adults between the dates of June 13th and July 8th.
  • Fireworks can be set off from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on June 1st to July 8th, and again on December 10th to January 3rd each year, subject to some expanded hours on certain dates as according to the law.
  • Please note that additional Iowa County and City ordinances may also further limit and regulate the possession, sale, transfer, purchase and use of consumer fireworks.

PMCI members interested in selling fireworks may register to do so through the State Fire Marshal website. Members will be asked to create a user account with the state’s online License Management System. Once your account is set up you will be asked to login and submit the New Business Set Up form. Following your submission, you will receive an email notification which will include a link for you to submit your application as a Permanent Fireworks Retail Facility. Along with your application, you will be required to submit a site plan and proof of insurance. Once you have submitted the required information to the state, you will receive yet another email that will include the contact information for the person that will perform your on-site inspection.

At this time, it is the recommendation of PMCI staff that members consider selling fireworks in an amount that meets the Exempt Amounts requirements in NFPA 1124, Chapter 7.3.1. Section states that the requirements of Chapter 7 shall not apply to consumer fireworks retail facilities where the fireworks are stored in packages and the total quantity of consumer fireworks on hand does not exceed 125 lb. of pyrotechnic composition. Where the actual weight of the pyrotechnic composition is unknown, 25% of the gross weight of the fireworks, including packaging shall be permitted to be used. Please be sure to notify your site inspector and fireworks distributor of your intention to sell fireworks in a quantity that meets the Exempt Amount requirement in NFPA 1124, Chapter 7, Section

Insurance Considerations

The sale, storage and distribution of consumer fireworks does present an increased risk of loss exposure from both a first party property and third-party liability loss perspective to any business conducting such activities. There are many commercial insurance carriers who may find these activities unacceptable due to the loss potential, or existing reinsurance constraints. Therefore, fireworks may not be insured under your present commercial business insurance policies. Each business owner insured should, prior to conducting such operations, contact their insurance agent, or insurance carrier, to confirm if such activities are acceptable.

As an alternative, there are certain excess & surplus lines insurance markets that will insure Class C fireworks retailers. Most markets will require that the fireworks sales be conducted from an exclusive free-standing structure. EMC’s wholly owned excess and surplus lines insurance company, EMC Underwriters LLC, has access to such markets and can assist in securing such property and casualty insurance. Please contact your local agent representing EMC, or LMC Insurance & Risk Management (800) 677-1529, if you should have questions.


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