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What fireworks can you light in Wisconsin? Not many

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's general rule of thumb is, if it explodes or leaves the ground, you need a permit to light it, and even own it.

Phantom Fireworks says they make millions of dollars a year in the two weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. Racine Sheriff deputies say it's so much cash, they maintain a presence there. 

But the bigger items they sell can usually only be bought and not used in the state.

“A good rule of thumb is if it’s a caution sign on the firework item, that typically you won’t need a permit, and they’re pretty much safe to light off for the fourth of July holiday,” Phantom assistant manager Vincent Sykes said.

Items with a warning sign instead of caution, generally require a permit from the city you want to light them in. 

The Racine Fire Department says those are reserved for major city displays.

“It’s a million dollar liability policy that you have to show me," Jeff Perkins with the Department of Fire Prevention said. You have to show me that you have the proper experience. You have to show me you have the federal permits.”

Raymond can give you a permit to buy larger fireworks at either Phantom or Xtreme Fireworks and even light them off, but it’s only good for June 7th at a set location from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Breaking the law can cost up to $10,000 or nine months in jail.     

“There’s so many opportunities to see the pros do it that are far away and beyond what a private citizen can do," Perkins said. "Do those. Don’t set off the illegal fireworks."

It is important to check your local city laws before doing anything even on your own property.

Some local governments do have stricter laws than the state.

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