DES MOINES, Iowa — The state fire marshal said Friday that five permanent locations have started selling fireworks in Iowa.
The office issued its first license on June 1, the same day that selling bottle rockets, roman candles and most other consumer fireworks became legal in Iowa. Stores selling fireworks now are operating in Brooklyn, Grimes, Marion, Spirit Lake and Rembrandt. Fireworks sales from temporary structures will begin June 13.
“We’ve all attacked this with a vengeance to make it happen,” State Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle said. “We want to make certain that retailers who want to sell in Iowa have the ability to do that.”
Other fireworks businesses are completing applications, including chains such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Target, Big Lots and Bomgaars. The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a statement Friday that 31 retail licenses had been issued with 253 more in the process.
The reviews of permanent structure site plans are taking more time than anticipated, and the office is looking to speed up the process without jeopardizing safety, the Department of Public Safety noted the statement.
In order to lessen the delay, building inspections have been approved online through video upload submissions. The state fire marshal division had weeks to complete what would normally have taken months to prepare, but Quigle said the department is dedicated to ensuring there is no delay.
Quigle said some employees plan to work over the weekend to speed-up the approval, even as new applications pour in daily.
Retail firework licensing fees, designed to offset some of the start-up costs for the state, will probably not be available for use until the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“We’ve had many programs we’ve had to take on over the years with no additional resources,” Quigle said. “We just make it work.”