(WKBN) – Fireworks can be legally set off this Fourth of July weekend as Ohio’s new fireworks law takes effect.
The law, which goes into effect July 1, allows for fireworks to be set off on the following special days:
- New Year’s (Dec. 31 and Jan. 1)
- Chinese New Year’s Day;
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
- The last Monday in May, and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding that day;
- Juneteenth (June 19)
- Fourth of July (July 3-5, as well as the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday before and after the Fourth of July)
- Labor Day weekend (The first Monday of September and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding)
Fireworks can be set off from 4 to 11 p.m. each day, with the exception of New Year’s Eve, when they can be set off from 4 to 11:59 p.m.; and New Year’s Day, from midnight to 1 a.m. and 4 to 11 p.m.
Though fireworks can legally be set off across the state, local governments could still ban fireworks or place restrictions on when they can be set off. The townships would have authority over their county governments for any conflicting resolution adopted pertaining to fireworks, according to the law.
The State Fire Marshal recommends a person check his or her municipality’s rules before setting off fireworks.
The State Fire Marshal also released the following guidelines for fireworks:
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 permission.
What are the guidelines for setting off fireworks?
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).
Separation distances 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 purchase fireworks?
All fireworks set off in Ohio must have been purchased in the state. Fireworks can only be purchased from licensed retailers. Under the law, there is a 4 percent fee on fireworks sales to pay for firefighter training.
Retailers must provide customers with safety glasses (for free or at a nominal charge) and with a safety pamphlet.
The State Fire Marshal has complete look at the new fireworks rules on its website.
Although fireworks are now legal, police can still enforce any related noise or disturbing the peace complaints.