Ohio’s new fireworks law: Everything you need to know before July 4th
Some Ohioans can set off firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles and fountains for the first time... if they follow the rules.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A new fireworks law goes into effect July 3 across Ohio, but not all fireworks are legal everywhere, and exceptions apply.
The law newly allows people to set off “consumer fireworks” on their own property or on another person’s property with permission.
Consumer fireworks are sandwiched in the middle of Ohio’s fireworks classifications between “trick fireworks” and “display fireworks.”
Trick fireworks (or “novelty fireworks”) are smoke bombs, snaps, glow snakes and sparklers. For the most part, these fireworks can be purchased anywhere and used anytime, but some local communities have passed ordinances that prevent even these from being sold.
In jurisdictions where novelty fireworks are allowed, the State Fire Marshal urges extreme caution.
“While legal, these can still pose serious health problems, including severe burns, injuries to the hands, eyes and face, and even blindness or hearing loss. For example, sparklers burn at up to 1800°, hot enough to melt gold. The risk of severe burns is real. In addition, puncture-type injuries to the eye are not uncommon,” a DOC spokesperson says.
The City of Cincinnati permits these fireworks, but a decades-old ordinance remains in effect prohibiting consumer fireworks, meaning Ohio’s new law figures to have little impact in the Queen City.
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Consumer fireworks are firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles and fountains.
The new law allows them to be sold by licensed manufacturers or wholesalers. They can be purchased by those over 18 who sign a form promising not to transport the fireworks outside Ohio within 48 hours (or 72 hours for nonresidents.)
Improperly filling out the purchaser form can result in a misdemeanor charge with a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Subsequent violations become felonies.
These fireworks cannot be discharged within 150 feet of spectators or in any street, highway, alley or public way.
You can only set them off on certain days from 4-11 p.m.:
- New Year’s Day (Jan. 1);
- Chinese New Year’s Day;
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5);
- Labor Day weekend, or the last Monday in May as well as the preceding Saturday and Sunday;
- Juneteenth (June 19)
- July 3rd, 4th and 5th, as well as the Friday, Saturday and Sunday following the 4th;
- The first Monday of September as well as the preceding Saturday and Sunday;
- Diwali; and
- New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) from 4-11:59 p.m.
[Ohio Department of Commerce >> Frequently asked questions and safety tips]
Display or exhibitor fireworks are aerial shells fired from mortars. They can only be sold by a licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or shipper out-of-state and can only be sold to a licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or exhibitor.
They can only be discharged by a licensed exhibitor in accordance with Ohio laws regarding exhibitions.
The City of Fairfield will continue to not allow fireworks, according to the Fairfield Police Department’s Facebook post.
Below is the entire statement from the department:
“NOTICE: Even though lawmakers for the State of Ohio have legalized fireworks on certain holidays beginning this July 1, the statute will NOT apply in the City of Fairfield. Fireworks are still prohibited in the City of Fairfield as they have been under City ordinance. Part of this new state law allows cities to continue to ban fireworks.
“In the best interest of public safety( fire hazard, personal injury, as well as noise complaints), the City of Fairfield will continue the ban on fireworks within city limits, which includes possession, sale, and discharge of fireworks.
“Thank you for your cooperation!!!!”
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