Is your fireworks display illegal? Each state has different rules

We break down what you can and can't do
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 07:28:51-04

CINCINNATI -- Independence Day calls for all things that snap, sparkle and boom for fireworks lovers across the Tri-State.

But igniting fireworks in the state of Ohio is illegal -- punishable of up to $1,000 and six months behind bars, according to Cincinnati Fire Department District Fire Chief Fred Prather.

Prather said fireworks can be bought in the state, but a permit must be obtained in order to use them. 

“A permit is obtained through a fire official,” Prather said. “It requires specific certifications, so you actually have to be a certified exhibitor in order to set off fireworks. Because it is really dangerous.” 

After purchasing fireworks, consumers must agree to transport the fireworks out of the state in 48 hours. Fireworks cannot be purchased in Cincinnati.

Minor devices, such as sparklers, snaps and smoke bombs can be used, but anything that explodes is a no-go.

But even small items can be dangerous, Prather said.

“We caution parents on the use of sparklers,” he said. “I think the temperature of those things when they’re burning is about 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Can you imagine a child holding something really, really hot like that in their hand and getting burnt?”

About 12,000 Americans were injured in fireworks-related incidents in 2015, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In addition to fireworks posing a danger to those using them, they also have the potential to damage property. 

Prather said he has seen a house burn down after a small rocket started a fire on the roof.

“A little 50 cent firework resulted in that family being homeless for a period of time,” he said.

Prather said when it comes to lighting off fireworks, it’s best to let the professionals handle it.

“We don’t want folks to be in danger in any way,” Prather said. “Fireworks can maim people, they can burn or dismember people.

“Is it worth it? I don’t think so.” 

Below is a breakdown of each state's fireworks rules (Click or tap the image to make it bigger):