New fireworks laws in Ohio take effect July 1

COLUMBUS — A new law in Ohio regarding consumer use of fireworks goes into effect July 1, but the new law leaves local governments the ability to limit the use of fireworks.

Under Ohio’s previous fireworks law, individuals could purchase consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio, but had to transport them out of state within 48 hours.

The new law will allow the use of fireworks in Ohio on certain holidays if the local municipality has not banned their use.

Where can we shoot fireworks?

Consumers may discharge fireworks onto their own property or the property of another person if the owner of that property has given express permission to discharge fireworks.

Ohioans Must Discharge Fireworks Properly

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is advising Ohioans of some other specifics listed in the new fireworks law:

-No one under the age of 18 is allowed to handle or discharge fireworks.

– Persons under the age of 18 may not be within 150 feet of the aerial fireworks discharge point.

-No person may use fireworks in possession or under the control of, or under the influence of, any intoxicating drink, beer or controlled substance. A person who violates this is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor.

-Aircraft cannot be unloaded within 150 feet of spectators. This includes Air Shells, Roman Candles, Cakes, and Bottle Rockets. Non-aircraft devices cannot be unloaded within 50 feet of spectators. This includes fountains, firecrackers and ground effect devices. Separation distances for airborne and non-aircraft devices are increased for certain types of locations, such as hospitals, schools, healthcare and residential facilities, apartment and multi-tenant buildings, military installations, and roadways of iron.

-No one may store more than 125 pounds of fireworks unless they have additional safety measures and safeguards in place for such storage.

-Fireworks cannot be fired indoors.

-Fireworks cannot be directed or fired at a person or object, such as a building.

-Fireworks may not be discharged onto public property or private school property.

-Fireworks cannot be fired if drought conditions exist or in an area where a red flag warning is in place or another weather hazard exists.

Where can Ohioans buy fireworks?

Only fireworks purchased in Ohio can be discharged in Ohio. Consumers can purchase fireworks at any licensed outlet statewide. When purchasing pyrotechnics, the retailer must provide consumers with safety glasses free of charge or at a symbolic price as well as a safety brochure.

Can local authorities prevent Ohioans from setting off fireworks?

Under the new law, any political subdivision can refuse to allow discharge capacity within its boundaries, so discuss with your local officials the best course of action for your jurisdiction.

Ohio’s new fireworks law goes into effect July 1, with specific holidays consumers can light their own fireworks, as fireworks aren’t banned locally.

About Marion Alexander

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