Understanding the fireworks laws in Ohio
It’s that time of year, where the skies light up and weekends are filled with fun family events across the state of Ohio. Fireworks can be magical, if properly planned and operated by licensed professionals, but accidents can and do happen. In recent news, Crocker Park Mall has come under the proverbial fire because of a catastrophic malfunction during their fireworks display. Many have taken to social media and news outlets to voice their disdain – but determining what happened, and who is to blame, can be a difficult process. Luckily, this event only lead to minor injuries, but in some scenarios the dangers of fireworks and improper handling can be severe.
Ohio Law can be confusing to navigate when it comes to what is and what isn’t legal in regards to fireworks and explosives, as they are categorized together under the Ohio Administrative Code, Section 1301:7-7-33. If you are planning to attend a display, it is likely that the host city or organization has gained the proper permits and have a licensed professional at the helm. For personal use, anything more than a novelty is deemed illegal in the state of Ohio.
The Ohio State Bar Association features a section on commonly asked questions and information in regards to the sale, purchase and use of fireworks in the State of Ohio.
Contrary to popular belief, while fireworks can be legally purchased from licensed distributors in our state – they cannot be used within the state and must be transported out within 48 hours of purchase.
If you witness an illegal display of fireworks, have property damage or suffer an injury as a result of a someone else’s negligence, it should be reported to local officials immediately. The State Fire Marshal Investigations Bureau should also be contacted at 614-752-7107, or 800-589-2728 outside of regular business hours. The local officials will report the incident immediately to the State Fire Marshal, and investigators will be immediately sent to the incidents’ location.
While the summer holidays and traditions are a time to spend with family and friends, helping our loved ones and our communities stay safe should always be a top priority. If you or a loved one has been injured by an illegal fireworks display, report it to the appropriate officials and call me immediately.