The City of West Carrollton would like to provide its citizens with detailed information regarding fireworks displays. It is our hope that all holiday celebrations this coming weekend, July 3-5, are enjoyable as well as injury free.
Current Ohio law states that the only items that can legally be purchased by the public AND used in Ohio are what are called ‘trick and novelty’ fireworks. These include anything that smokes, snaps, snakes or sparkles. Please refer to the list from the Ohio Department of Commerce for a number of legal options to use in Ohio.
All other fireworks, including items like bottle rockets, fire crackers and roman candles are illegal for the general public to use. Ohio’s laws on fireworks can be confusing. Persons can legally buy products in Ohio that cannot be legally used here. State lawmakers are currently debating a bill to change this law however; current laws remain in effect.
“We want the citizens to enjoy the holiday weekend but, are also concerned for the safety of the city’s residents during this time, as we know many local fireworks displays have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City Manager Brad Townsend.
Even legal fireworks can be dangerous as sparklers can burn at temperatures well over 1,500 degrees. In 2017, sparkler injuries sent nearly 1,200 children to the emergency room and more than 10,000 people are treated for fireworks-related injuries every year.
Mishandled fireworks can also cause fires. Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires last year according to the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Fireworks may also be a source of stress for many, especially for those who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as loud noises can be a trigger for individuals. Dogs that are scared of fireworks might hide, tremble, pace, whine or even attempt to run away, especially if left outside.
Police Chief Doug Woodard said, “Our number one goal is the safety of our citizens and we will have extra officers assigned specifically to fireworks enforcement throughout the city. Because of the limited number of professional displays this year and social distancing requirements, we anticipate more novice firework usage. We are urging everyone to please avoid this temptation and enjoy the holiday safely.”
The discovery of illegal fireworks or any fireworks incident which results in injuries or property damage shall be reported immediately. Citations can be issued for any violation of the fireworks ordinance. Citations for illegal use of fireworks is a first-degree misdemeanor, requires a court appearance and fine of up to $1000.
The West Carrollton Police Department will be enforcing these laws as necessary. To contact the West Carrollton Police Department with questions call (937) 859-3688. As always, if there is an immediate danger, fire or injury call 911.