4th of July fireworks: New Ohio law takes effect Friday allowing people to shoot off their own fireworks

The new legislation doesn't come without rules and regulations
WEBN fireworks 2018
Posted at 8:15 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 19:15:37-04

CINCINNATI — As of July 1, people in Ohio can now legally shoot off their own fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Ohioans can set off consumer-grade fireworks on certain holidays. On the Fourth of July weekend, people can light up the sky Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. They'll also be able to shoot off fireworks the weekend after the holiday.

Under the new law, Ohioans can set fireworks off on their own property, or someone else's property with the owner's permission. People in Kentucky and Indiana already allow people to shoot off their own fireworks

Despite the change, the state still has strict rules on firework usage. The new rules only apply to 1.4G consumer-grade fireworks. This includes things like bottle rockets, firecrackers and Roman candles. It is still illegal in Ohio to purchase display-grade fireworks without a license.

The new law will still allow cities to make their own rules when it comes to fireworks. For example, in Cincinnati, only fireworks designated as "trick and novelty" will be allowed. This includes things like smokes, sparklers, snaps and snakes.

Municipalities and townships are also able to opt out or place their own restrictions on dates and times when people can set off fireworks so be sure to check your community's website before you decide to light up the skies above your neighborhood.

For more information about this new law and additional restrictions on firework sales and usage click here.

Fireworks retailers in Clermont County say business has been booming ahead of the holiday weekend.

Benjamin Colliver with Phantom Fireworks said many people have been coming to buy fireworks, knowing they’ll now be able to legally set them off.

With the new fireworks law, comes responsibility. Fireworks can be fun, but it can quickly turn serious. According to the new law, all fireworks retailers in Ohio must now provide a safety pamphlet with each purchase, as well as providing safety glasses for free, or making them available for purchase.

“We got to keep this serious, because we want to keep it legal. We don't want to mess it up. So be very careful,” Colliver said.

Injury prevention specialist Dawne Gardner said there were over 15,600 people treated in emergency rooms across the country for firework injuries in 2020.

“24% of those injuries were to kids under the age of 14,” Gardner said.

Dr. Brendan Sheridan with Tri-Health said the week of July 4th makes up about 80% of the burn injuries seen in the emergency room. He said the most common firework related injury is caused by sparklers.

“People who try to put a sparkler out with their hand,” Dr. Sheridan said. “They’ll just grab it and think it’s as easy to put out as a candle, and it leaves a pretty nice burn across their hand.”

Dawne Gardner said kids shouldn’t be using fireworks at all — even sparklers.

“You know sparklers can get up to up to 1,200 degrees and that's way too much for a child to be handling,” Gardner said.

Gardner said glow sticks can be a good alternative for young kids.

The new law brings a concern there may be an uptick in injuries this holiday weekend.

“There is a huge increased risk at this point with families being able to set off fireworks at home," Dr. Sheridan said. "So we know that in our local emergency rooms we may be seeing that.”

Phantom Fireworks’ staff hopes their extra safety measures will help prevent some of those injuries

“Do you want to set them off next year?” Colliver said. “It could ruin it for a lot of other people if we're not safe with it.”

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