OHIO – Fireworks may be a different thing to see and hear during some Holidays but legally for the first time in Ohio it’s allowed.
Beginning July 1, 2022, Ohioans can legally discharge 1.4G consumer fireworks in Ohio on certain days UNLESS the relevant political subdivision has chosen to ban their use. (Ohioans are NOT permitted to purchase or discharge 1.3G display fireworks.)
What dates and times can consumers legally discharge 1.4G fireworks?
Beginning in July 2022, unless limited by local laws, Ohioans can discharge consumer fireworks on the following dates and times:
July 3, 4, and 5, and the Friday, Saturday and Sunday immediately before and after July 4th (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
Labor Day weekend (4 p.m.-11 p.m.) [1st Monday of September and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding that Monday]
Diwali (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
New Year’s Eve (4 p.m.-11:59 p.m.)
New Year’s Day (12 a.m.-1 a.m.; 4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
Chinese New Year (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
Cinco de Mayo (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
Memorial Day weekend (4 p.m.-11 p.m.) [last Monday is May and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding that day]
Juneteenth (4 p.m.-11 p.m.) [June 19]
Where can fireworks be discharged?
Consumers can discharge fireworks on their own property or on another person’s property if the owner of that property has given express permission for fireworks to be discharged on their property.
CAUTION: Local political subdivisions may ban fireworks or restrict the dates and times that fireworks can be used.
Even though state law allows consumers to discharge 1.4G fireworks on the above dates and times, political subdivisions (villages, cities, townships or counties) can ban the use of fireworks within their boundaries. They can also restrict the dates and/or times that fireworks can be used by consumers within their boundaries. If a political subdivision takes such action, the local law controls in that area. So, consumers should check their local laws to make sure consumer discharge of fireworks is legal in their area.
What rules apply to the use of 1.4G fireworks by consumers?
Ohio Revised Code (R.C.)§ 3743.45 (as effective July 1, 2022) and Ohio Fire Code (OFC) § 5626 (effective July 3, 2022) apply and can be read in their entirety via the links provided and attached document. Relevant OFC provisions outline how 1.4G consumer fireworks must be used and stored by consumers. Some provisions in the rules include:
No person under the age of 18 is permitted to handle or discharge fireworks.
Persons under the age of 18 cannot be within 150 feet of the discharge point of aerial fireworks.
Aerial devices cannot be discharged within 150 feet of spectators (this includes aerial shells, roman candles, cakes, and bottle rockets).
Non-aerial devices cannot be discharged within 50 feet of spectators (this includes fountains, firecrackers, and ground effect devices).
Note: These separation distances – for both aerial and non-aerial devices – are increased for certain types of locations such as hospitals, schools, healthcare and residential facilities, apartment and multi-tenant buildings, military installations and railroads.
No person can store in excess of 125 pounds (net weight of pyrotechnic composition) of fireworks unless they have additional safety measures and safeguards in place for such storage.
Fireworks cannot be discharged indoors.
Fireworks cannot be aimed at or discharged toward any person or object (such as buildings).
Fireworks cannot be discharged on public property or private school property.
Fireworks cannot be discharged if drought conditions exist or in an area where a red flag warning is in place or other weather hazard exists.
Fireworks cannot be discharged within 150 feet of property housing livestock unless 5 days advance written notice is provided to the owner of the property where the livestock is housed.
In addition, relevant R.C. provisions state that no person can negligently use fireworks while in possession or control of, or under the influence of, any intoxicating liquor, beer, or controlled substance. A person who violates this is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor.
What are some safety tips for the discharge of fireworks?
Fireworks are extremely dangerous – so, please be safe and follow basic safety protocols. Each year, thousands of people are injured in fireworks-related incidents and sadly, many die as a result. In addition, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year resulting in extensive damage to structures, vehicles, and property. The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following guidelines for safety:
Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.
Never light fireworks indoors.
Only use fireworks away from people, houses, and flammable material.
Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
Keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby to fully douse fireworks that don’t discharge or in case of fire.
Where can Ohioans buy fireworks?
Only fireworks purchased in Ohio may be discharged in Ohio. Consumers may purchase fireworks from any of the licensed sales locations throughout the state. When purchasing fireworks, the retailer must provide consumers with safety glasses (for free or at a nominal charge) and with a safety pamphlet.