What are Ohio’s laws for fireworks?

A sample of home fireworks from past years at that were available for purchase at Rozzi's Fireworks in Loveland. FILE PHOTO

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A sample of home fireworks from past years at that were available for purchase at Rozzi's Fireworks in Loveland. FILE PHOTO

As the Fourth of July nears, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said setting off commercial grade fire works is still illegal in Ohio.

“Discharging consumer-grade fireworks is still illegal in Ohio and, until that changes, we encourage people to only attend licensed shows in their communities,” said Ken Klouda, chief of the State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Bureau. “Everyone deserves to celebrate the July 4th holiday, but we want people to do it safely and legally.”

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Under Ohio’s current fireworks laws, popular devices such as Roman candles, bottle rockets and firecrackers can be legally purchased in Ohio but must be transported out of state within 48 hours. Only licensed exhibitors are permitted to discharge these devices in the state.

Most first-time violations of Ohio’s fireworks laws are first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Violations include failing to transport fireworks out of state within the 48-hour time period and discharging those fireworks.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urges “extra vigilance” when using fireworks, noting that:

  • At least 18 people died from fireworks-related incidents in 2020, compared to 12 reported for the previous year.
  • About 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks injuries in 2020. There were about 10,000 ER-treated fireworks injuries in 2019.
  • Firecrackers were the biggest source of ER-treated fireworks injuries, 1,600, followed by sparklers, 900.
  • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers, at 30%; The head, face and ears were the second most injured body parts, at 22%. Eye injuries were third at 15%.
  • Burns were the most common fireworks-related, emergency room-treated injury, at 44 percent.

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