Using fireworks responsibly
A new law probably sounds like great news to many Ohioans who like to celebrate holidays such as July 4 with a bang.
For others, though, it may literally be a nightmare.
The new legislation, which takes effect next month, allows Buckeye State residents to discharge fireworks legally on certain holidays. It makes 1.4G consumer fireworks legal to use on certain days unless the municipality or township has chosen to ban their use.
Beginning in July, unless local laws state otherwise, Ohioans can discharge consumer fireworks on the following dates and times:
∫ July 3, 4, and 5, and the weekends immediately before and after (4-11 p.m.)
∫ Labor Day weekend (4-11 p.m.)
∫ Diwali (4-11 p.m.)
∫ New Year’s Eve (4-11:59 p.m.)
∫ New Year’s Day (12-1 a.m. and 4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
∫ Chinese New Year (4-11 p.m.)
∫ Cinco de Mayo (4-11 p.m.)
∫ Memorial Day weekend (4-11 p.m.)
∫ Juneteenth (4-11 p.m.)
The law does place some limitations on where such fireworks can be used. For example, people can discharge fireworks on their own property or on another person’s property, but only if the owner has given them permission.
Ohio Revised Code 3743.45 and Ohio Fire Code 5626 also outline how 1.4G consumer fireworks must be used and stored.
Nobody under age 18 is permitted to handle or discharge fireworks or be within 150 feet of the discharge point of aerial fireworks.
People are also prohibited from using fireworks while in possession or under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. There are also rules about how close spectators can be and the required distance from homes, schools, hospitals, etc.
What the law does not address, however, is the ways that fireworks may affect your friends, neighbors and pets. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome — especially combat veterans — may be emotionally and even physically affected by fireworks. The same is true of our furry friends.
So while it may be your right to celebrate with fireworks, please be courteous and consider the needs and feelings of those around you.