As people across the region celebrate America’s independence on July 4, the State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages using safety when using legal fireworks in the state.
“The best way for Ohioans to prevent fireworks injuries is to attend a licensed, professional fireworks exhibition,” State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers said. “Keep in mind that even trick and novelty fireworks, like sparklers, are inherently dangerous and can cause serious injury.”
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 8,700 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the nation for fireworks-related injuries last year. Children under the age of 15 accounted for 30 percent of the injuries, the Fire Marshal’s office said.
In the state of Ohio the only legal fireworks that can be purchased and discharged are trick and novelty devices, which include: smoke, sparkle, snap and snake.
Flowers offered the following tips for people choosing to detonate legal fireworks in the region.
- Handle and discharge trick and novelty devices only under adult supervision.
- Appoint one adult to be in charge. This person should know the hazards of each type of firework being used.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions on the trick and novelty device packaging.
- Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body and others.
- Sparkler wires, which can burn up to 1800 degree, should immediately be placed in a bucket of water to avoid injury ad they remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.
- If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for two or three minutes and seek medical attention when necessary.
Other fireworks, like those sold at fireworks stores around the state, can be legally purchased in the state, but you must agree to take them out of Ohio within 48 hours.
“You must be at least 18 years of age to buy items such as firecrackers and bottle rockets at the store you see along the roadways of Ohio,” Flowers said. “But firing them off within state boundaries is prohibited.”
First time offenders of fireworks laws in the state are subject to $1000 fine and six months in prison.
For a complete list of local fireworks displays click here.