Fairborn keeps fireworks ban, joining Beavercreek, Dayton after Ohio changes law

FAIRBORN — The city has voted to keep its fireworks ban, opting out of an Ohio law allowing them on a limited basis.

The Fairborn City Council voted unanimously on the issue Monday night after a recommendation from its police chief. It joins Beavercreek and Dayton among area cities continuing to outlaw fireworks, while others consider similar measures.

Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller has cited several reasons to maintain the ban, including concerns for public safety and military veterans who have issues with loud noises.

The vote came after a public hearing during which Fairborn residents who said they enjoyed fireworks understood the action.

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But “maybe we could provide some better justification or reason that we’re doing this,” Nathan Haskell said.

“I’d be willing to bet that the fire chief has a plethora of information and statistics about the potential dangers of fireworks being used in the city,” he added.

Resident Jo Collins cited similar reasons expressed by Keller, saying the city should “take consideration and be respectful,” especially of veterans who have “flashbacks” or PTSD.

Loud noise “upsets them so much,” she said. “The more I talked with the veterans — we have a lot in this town — they don’t want to speak about war. They don’t want to think about war.”

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Collins said the impact on pets also is disruptive.

“The neighbors are tranquilizing their dog. The dogs are running amuck,” she said.

Fairborn’s legislation states “the possession, discharge, ignition and/or the exploding of fireworks poses a danger to the public and may cause injury or property damage, especially in densely residential and business areas … "

Last year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 172. Starting July 1, the law will allow the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the state.

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Dayton opted out within weeks and Beavercreek followed this spring. Germantown and Oakwood are among those considering similar legislation. Riverside has also discussed it.

The law will permit people to set off fireworks on specific days, including the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, records show.

They can’t be used by people in possession “or control of, or under the influence of, any intoxicating liquor, beer, or controlled substance,” according to the state.

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