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Follow the Law for Legal Fireworks This Fourth of July

A photo of used cannisters of fireworks
Ohio has some confusing laws when it comes to fireworks.

Ohio’s laws on fireworks can be confusing. You can legally buy products in Ohio that you cannot legally use here. Lawmakers have debated bills to change that, but so far they haven’t made it through the full legislative process.

Big boom fireworks have to leave the state within 48 hours after they are purchased. But you no longer have to fill out a form promising to take them out of Ohio.

Brian Bohnert is with the Ohio Fire Marshall’s office.

“The only items that can legally be purchased by the public and used in Ohio are what is called the trick and novelty fireworks – so anything that smokes, snaps, snakes or sparkles,” he said.

Bohnert says if you want to see the big booms, attend a public fireworks display.

A coalition of health and safety organizations is urging people to stop shooting off fireworks near their homes and to leave the festivities to the professionals.

Firework safety

Sherry Williams with the group Prevent Blindness says it's dangerous to set off fireworks yourself.

She notes a report saying more than 9,000 people went to the hospital in 2018 with fireworks-related injuries like burns and amputations.

Williams urges people to leave a party if fireworks are about to be set off. 

“The folks setting off the fireworks, they have the right to take the risk that they want to but putting innocent bystanders in the line of an injury, a death perhaps.”

The groups advocating for fireworks safety included dog shelters, pediatricians, and the state fire marshal’s office.