No doubt you’ve seen the ads from dealers selling fireworks as the Valley prepares to celebrate Independence Day two weeks from now.
The difference from past July 4th celebrations is that as of next month in Ohio, people will be allowed to legally set off fireworks.
A new law goes into effect allowing Ohioans to legally discharge fireworks on certain holidays.
According to the state fire marshal, you can legally discharge consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio on certain days unless the local community government has chosen to ban their use.
Under previous law, individuals could purchase consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio but had to transport them out of state within 48 hours.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can and can’t do under the new law:
When can Ohioans discharge fireworks?
Beginning July 2022, unless limited by local laws, Ohioans can discharge consumer fireworks on the following dates and times:
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.
Ohioans must discharge fireworks properly
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. 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.
No person can 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.
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.
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.
Can local officials stop Ohioans from discharging fireworks?
As part of the new law, any political subdivision may opt-out of allowing the ability to discharge within their limits so discuss with your local officials the best course of action for your jurisdiction.