Ohio & US fireworks facts and safety guides promote emphasis on safety due to extremely dry conditions
With 4th of July holiday festivities in full swing, the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) and Ohio Fire Marshal’s office provide a list of resources on Ohio fireworks laws, safety guides and US fireworks-related statistics.
Additionally, the combination of near-drought conditions, high temps and the possibility of wind gusts create a greater risk of fires sparked by the use of fireworks, legal or illegal. Both groups emphasize safe use of legal fireworks this holiday week.
Here’s what’s legal and not legal to purchase and/or use in the Buckeye state, where to legally purchase them and penalties for breaking Ohio fireworks use laws.
OHIO INFO (Source: State Fire Marshal, Ohio Department of Commerce)
1) What’s legal to use?
The only fireworks that are legal for consumer use in Ohio are “trick and novelty” items such as sparklers, snaps, glow snakes and smoke bombs.
These include: Auto foolers with and without report, bat snaps, bobby traps, Chinese fun snaps, cigarette loads, fun snaps, ghost and bat snaps, ghost bomb snaps, gravity pak-snaps, magnum poppers, flame-proof party poppers, sky lanterns and trick bank matches.
2) What’s legal to purchase? What are the restrictions on their use?
Anyone 18 or older can buy firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles and fountains within the state from a licensed retailer. You can purchase them but can’t “technically” use them in Ohio. At the point of purchase, the buyer must sign a form that says the fireworks will be transported out of Ohio within 48 hours. If you are an out-of-state resident, you transport them within 72 hours.
3) Where to purchase fireworks legally in Ohio
The Ohio Fire Marshal’s office regulates the licensing of fireworks wholesalers and manufacturers.
There are 42 licensed wholesalers in Ohio who can sell trick and novelty fireworks like sparklers and snaps.
There are six licensed manufacturers in Ohio who also can sell fireworks.
4) Penalties for fireworks violations
In Ohio, a first-time offender of any fireworks-related laws risks confiscation of the fireworks and a first-degree misdemeanor, including a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail or both.
Ohio fireworks resources (State Fire Marshal, Ohio Department of Commerce)
• National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fireworks Report
Summary: In 2010 (latest year of the report), 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in US hospital emergency rooms. Report finds that there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reportable fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.