Fireworks, Pyrotechnics, and Flame Effects
Effective: March 31, 2008
Reviewed: March 2021
Contact: Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
The goal of this policy is to establish the requirements for the use of fireworks, pyrotechnics or flame effect displays (hereafter referred to as "displays") on ISU property or in conjunction with ISU-related events.
Iowa State University is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. This policy establishes a fireworks, pyrotechnics or flame effect display approval process for the ISU campus that will:
- Facilitate communication with the City of Ames and ISU campus units
- Meet regulatory compliance
- Provide continuity and consistency across campus in the use of fireworks, pyrotechnics or flame effects displays
Under Regents policy, possession and use of fireworks and incendiary devices is forbidden unless specifically approved, and this policy establishes the standards for approval. University student organizations, departments, units or third party event organizers that request the use of fireworks, pyrotechnics or flame effect displays on university property or in conjunction with ISU-related events must successfully complete the authorization process and are hereafter referred to as the "sponsoring organization."
This policy and related procedures set forth the standards and responsibilities for the application and approval for the use of displays at Iowa State University including but not limited to, ceremonies, conferences, banquets, science demonstrations, theatrical or concert performances.
Any composition or device for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect for entertainment purposes by combustion, deflagration, or detonation as defined in NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) Standard 1123. Fireworks are for outdoor use.
Any device containing a chemical mixture that produces visible or audible effects for a proximate audience by combustion, deflagration, or detonation as defined in NFPA Standard 1126. Pyrotechnics for a proximate audience are for indoor use.
The combustion of flammable solids, liquids, or gases to produce thermal, physical, visual, or audible phenomena before an audience as defined in NFPA Standard 160. Flame effects can be for indoor or outdoor use.
The display operator is the licensed person or company responsible for the operation and safety of displays as contracted by the sponsoring organization. A display operator must hold a valid pyrotechnics license from a state that Iowa State University recognizes as a credible licensing authority. An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) permit is not acceptable; only individuals licensed to handle fireworks, pyrotechnics or flame effect displays will be approved. The individual or company responsible for transportation of display materials must have a valid ATF card and be in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.
The sponsoring organization is the organization (i.e. university student organizations, departments, units or third party event organizers) that is responsible for arranging with an authorized display operator for its services in presenting a display.
In accordance with the policies and procedures of Iowa State University, all display operators must be adequately insured. The display operator must carry insurance and provide an insurance certificate as evidence of commercial insurance with the required limits and with a company acceptable to the Iowa State University ORM. (See Resources below for insurance requirements.)
All requests for displays on ISU property or in conjunction with an ISU-related event must be submitted to the ORM and must be approved by:
- Office of Risk Management (ORM)
- Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
- ISU Police
In order to ensure adequate time for the approval process, applications must be submitted at least six (6) weeks prior to the event. (See Resources below for procedures and application.)
All display locations must be in ISU designated approved areas. (See Resources below.)
All display times are subject to the ISU displays approval process. (See Resources below.)
The display operator must:
- Provide a copy of their applicable licenses, a certificate of insurance and material safety data sheets for the product(s) being used
- Provide information concerning the disposal of by-products from displays
- Perform a post-display inspection of exterior grounds or interior areas confirming that no unexploded devices or debris remain
- Assume sole responsibility for the disposal of such by-products from displays in compliance with federal, state and university requirements
Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
EH&S will review display applications in conjunction with the ISU Police Department. Both EH&S and ISU Police must approve all applications. EH&S will approve the display operator's diagram of the display/shooting area and any specific requirements related to the display.
ISU Police will review display applications in conjunction with EH&S. In addition to application approval, ISU Police will verify display operator licensure, expertise and authenticity.
Office of Risk Management (ORM)
The ORM will accept and review display applications. In addition, the ORM will:
- Notify EH&S and ISU Police for application review and approval
- Review and approve display operator certificate of insurance
- Coordinate approval with the City of Ames
- Provide fully approved authorization to sponsoring organization and EH&S
For information about applications, procedures, approvals, insurance requirements, approved areas, etc., see link to Office of Risk Management (ORM) in Resources section below.
The sponsoring organization must complete the ISU Fireworks, Pyrotechnics and Flame Effects Display Application and submit it to the ORM with the application filing fee. Organizations are responsible for understanding and abiding by the applicable policies and procedures. In addition, the organization must:
- Provide the potential display operator with ISU insurance requirement information
- Arrange for ISU Police to provide services for the display
- Provide for adequate clean-up (litter) of the display site within 24 hours of the display
All requests for exceptions to this policy must be directed to the ORM. Any changes to an approved application must be submitted to the ORM for approval at least five (5) days prior to the display date. top