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Fireworks from the 2012 display at Gaunt Park. (Photo by Suzanne Szempruch)c

Fireworks from the 2012 display at Gaunt Park. (Photo by Suzanne Szempruch)

New fireworks law in effect

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A new state law allows Ohioans to discharge consumer fireworks on specified holidays, unless their local political subdivision bans the use.

No Village ordinances specifically address fireworks, but do address the use of them through noise ordinances, which effectively disallow the use of fireworks within the village.

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

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Effective July 3, unless limited by local laws, Ohioans 18 and older 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 (Midnight–1 a.m. and 4–11 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.)

Consumers can discharge fireworks on their own property or on another person’s property if the owner has given permission.

A June 17 press release from the state fire marshal’s office lists some of the stipulations of the new law, including:

• Persons under the age of 18 cannot be within 150 feet of the discharge point of aerial fireworks.

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

• Aerial devices cannot be discharged within 150 feet of spectators — this includes aerial shells, roman candles, cakes and bottle rockets.

• Non-aerial devices cannot be discharged within 50 feet of spectators — this includes fountains, firecrackers and ground-effect devices.

• No person can store in excess of 125 pounds of fireworks unless they have additional safety measures and safeguards in place for such storage.

• Fireworks cannot be discharged indoors.

• Fireworks cannot be aimed at or discharged toward any person or object, such as buildings.

• Fireworks cannot be discharged on public property or private school property.

• Fireworks cannot be discharged if drought conditions exist or in an area where a red flag warning is in place or other weather hazard exists.

Only fireworks purchased in Ohio may be discharged in Ohio. Consumers may purchase fireworks from any of the licensed sales locations throughout the state. When purchasing fireworks, the retailer must provide consumers with safety glasses, for free or at a nominal charge, and a safety pamphlet.

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