Kettering moves to keep fireworks ban before Ohio law change

On July 1, the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio will be legal on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce. FILE

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On July 1, the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio will be legal on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce. FILE

KETTERING — Another city is moving to keep its fireworks ban before Ohio law changes next month to allow them in limited use.

Kettering is considering changes to reaffirm its ban, similar to actions taken by Beavercreek, Dayton, Fairborn, Germantown and Oakwood.

A measure set to go before Kettering City Council on Tuesday night addresses Ohio House Bill 172, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed last year.

Dayton took action in 2021 to uphold its ban, followed this year by Beavercreek and Fairborn. Germantown and Oakwood approved legislation earlier this month.

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“I think we’re keeping in step with what was going on in Columbus without rushing it,” Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner said. “It wasn’t a question of holding it back or waiting for anything to occur.”

Lehner, a former state senator, said she has been against expanding fireworks use “for a number of years.”

She said her position is based on Ohio General Assembly testimony of “numerous health organizations,” including Prevent Blindness. That organization “provided pretty convincing evidence when I was in the legislature” that non-professionals setting off fireworks leads to serious accidents among youth.

“I have not been the person pushing (the ban) in Kettering,” Lehner said. “But certainly, I support it.”

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Kettering has banned the discharge and sale of fireworks in the city since 1956, except exhibitions “by responsible persons permitted by the city,” records show.

It has traditionally hosted fireworks displays during Independence Day celebrations at Delco Park and plans to do so this year.

Kettering’s proposal uses language similar to other communities, stating unsafe fireworks use “continues to pose a significant danger to the public and can cause serious injuries as well as significant property damage … in densely populated residential and business areas.”

Starting July 1, Ohio will allow the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks on private property except in communities choosing to opt out, according to the state.

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.

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