Fireworks Information

The Waukesha Police Department wants all residents to have a joyous and safe July 4th celebration. The public fireworks display will be at dusk on July 4 at the Waukesha County Expo grounds, and we urge our community to attend these festivities.

Illegal to Use


In an effort to promote a safe and injury free 4th of July, we want our community to know that nearly all fireworks are illegal by city ordinance. Please remember that it may be legal for a wholesaler, with the required permits, to sell fireworks. The use of fireworks by the general public is illegal.

Permit Required for Fireworks Shows


City Ordinance 11.12 (PDF) requires a permit be issued by the Chief of the Fire Department for any use of fireworks for pyrotechnic displays. This permit will not be issued to members of the general public.

Types & Characteristics of Fireworks


The Waukesha ordinance definition indicates that fireworks are anything manufactured, processed or packaged for exploding, emitting sparks or combustion which does not have another common use including:
  • Aerial salutes
  • American or Chinese bombs or other fireworks of like construction
  • Blank cartridges
  • Display Wheels
  • Cannons
  • Firecrackers
  • Roman candles
  • Sky rockets
  • Sparklers- on a wire exceeding 36 inches in length or 0.25 inch in outside diameter containing magnesium chlorate or perchlorate display wheels
  • Torpedoes
  • Toy pistols, toy canes, or cannons in which explosives are used (including caps containing more than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture)
  • Any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or which contains:
    • Antimony
    • Arsenic
    • Barium
    • Chlorates
    • Mercury
    • Nitrates
    • Nitroglycerine
    • Oxalates
    • Phosphorus
    • Sulphides of lead or any compound containing any of the same explosives
These items are not only illegal but can be dangerous when misused. They can cause injury, death or destruction of property.


Police Action


Waukesha Police Department personnel will respond to all complaints of illegal fireworks and take the appropriate action. These actions could include confiscation of the illegal items and a potential forfeiture of not more than $1000.