Fireworks Safety

  As we approach the July 4th holiday we would like to offer some information to help make it a safe holiday for everyone by specifically addressing the safe and legal use of fireworks.

  In 2002 there were an estimated 8,800 injuries, resulting from fireworks accidents, that required treatment in hospital emergency departments. Over 63% of these injuries involved burns. Over 62% of those injured were under 20 years old. Sparklers and smoke devices were responsible for 11% of the injuries resulting in injuries in 2003 with most of them involving children under 5 years of age. Firecrackers and bottle rockets were responsible for 47% of the fireworks related injuries in 2003.

  In 1999 fires resulting from fireworks were responsible for an estimated $17.2 million dollars in direct fire loss. During the Independence Day Holiday fireworks cause more outdoor fire than all other causes combined.

  Ohio law restricts the use of fireworks. Here is a brief summary of Ohio’s fireworks law:

Only “Novelty Fireworks” may be discharged in Ohio. These would normally be purchased at Kroger’s, Wal-Mart or other retail store. Novelty fireworks include sparklers, caps and smoke bombs.

 “Consumer Fireworks” may not be discharged in Ohio under any circumstances. Consumer fireworks include cones, firecrackers and bottle rockets. In Ohio these can only be legally purchased from a fireworks store.

If you purchase “Consumer Fireworks” they must be transported out of Ohio within 48 hours of purchase.

Fireworks displays may only be conducted after a permit has been secured from the local fire department.


While they are legal to discharge in Ohio sparklers and smoke bombs can still be very dangerous. The following safety tips should be followed when using these types of fireworks.

   Always read and follow label directions.

Have an adult present.

Buy from reliable sellers.

Use outdoors only.

Keep a safe distance from lit fireworks, the sparks from a sparkler can cause burns or set clothing on fire.

Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).

Light only one firework at a time.

Never re-light a "dud" firework
(wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).

Never give fireworks to small children.

Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

When using fireworks always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.

Stay away from illegal fireworks and explosives.

   The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a fireworks display. Spectators should obey all ushers or monitors and respect the safety barriers set up to allow the trained operator room to safely do his job. Resist any temptation to get close to the actual firing site. In fact, the best view of the fireworks is from a quarter of a mile or more away.

  Although it rarely happens, it is possible that a firework component might fall to the ground without exploding. Do not touch these fireworks. If you happen to find any fireworks which have not exploded, you should immediately contact the local fire or police department.

  Pets have very sensitive ears and the booms and bangs associated with a fireworks display can be quite uncomfortable -- particularly to dogs. In fact, the noises can actually hurt their ears. Leave pets at home if you are going to a fireworks show.

  Leave the lighting of all fireworks to the trained operator when you attend a public display. Sparklers, fountains and other items that many states allow for use by private individuals are not appropriate to use when a large crowd is present. Leave your own fireworks at home - the display will provide plenty of excitement. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show

  You can contact the fire department with any question you have regarding fireworks.