Celebrate Smart: Prioritize Fireworks Safety This Independence Day

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This Fourth of July, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of State Fire Marshal urges Ohioans to put safety first this Fourth of July. Since 2022, Ohioans can legally discharge 1.4G consumer fireworks in Ohio on certain days throughout the year unless the relevant political subdivision has chosen to ban their use. This July, those days are July 3, 4, and 5, and the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday immediately before and after July 4th from 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in more than 11,500 treated injuries in 2021. And injuries jumped 25% between 2006 and 2021. Nearly half of all fireworks injuries are to bystanders, many of them children. According to the State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Bureau, in Ohio, 163 fireworks-caused fire incidents have occurred since 2022, with 33 of those incidents resulting in building fires totaling nearly $750,000 in damages.

“We want Ohioans to have a great time during fireworks displays, but it’s crucial to understand the risks involved,” said Anita Metheny, chief of the State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Bureau. “By staying informed, following the regulations, and taking necessary precautions, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July for everyone.”

As part of the new fireworks law unveiled in 2023, fountain devices are now available at more retailers across the state. Fountains are fireworks that are ground based. Once lit, they erupt sparks and often whistle or crackle. Fountain fireworks can reach heights of up to 20 feet. Check out the new regulations and keep fire safety in mind https://bit.ly/3Pt3rQf

Even trick and novelty fireworks – those that smoke, sparkle, snap, and snake – are not without dangers to consumers. Ohioans are encouraged to follow these important safety tips when using trick or novelty fireworks:

  • Only handle and discharge trick and novelty devices under adult supervision.
  • Educate yourself on the hazards of each type of device being used.
  • Carefully read and follow the label directions on the packaging of a trick and novelty device.
  • Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body, as well as others.
  • Sparklers should only be used by someone 12 years of age or older.
  • Sparkler wires should immediately be placed in a bucket of water to avoid injury, because they remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.
  • Consider substituting sparklers for a safer alternative, such as glow sticks.

For a complete look at the fireworks rules, visit the State Fire Marshal’s website at com.ohio.gov/fireworks

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