State Fire Marshal urges safe firework use


COLUMBUS — This Fourth of July, the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) urges Ohioans to put safety first. Since 2022, unless prohibited by local laws, Ohioans have been able to legally discharge 1.4G consumer fireworks in Ohio on certain days throughout the year when the use follows the Ohio Fire Code’s discharge rules.

This year, where permitted, consumer fireworks usage will be permitted on the following dates from 4-11 p.m., Friday, June 28 through Sunday, July 7.

According to SFM’s Fire Prevention Bureau, 128 fireworks-caused fire incidents occurred in Ohio in 2023, with 22 of those incidents resulting in residential building fires totaling nearly $700,000 in damages. So far in 2024, there have been 10 incidents involving fireworks causing almost $10,000 in losses. In addition, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in more than 10,200 treated injuries in 2022, with injuries jumping by 25 percent between 2006 and 2022. Nearly half of all fireworks injuries are to bystanders, many of them children.

“Fireworks can bring joy to our celebrations, but it’s important to recognize the inherent risks that come with them as well,” said Anita Metheny, Chief of SFM’s Fire Prevention Bureau. “By being informed and following safety guidelines, we can reduce injuries and ensure a festive and safe Fourth of July for all.”

As part of an update to the fireworks law unveiled in 2023, fountain devices are now available at more retailers across the state. Fountains are fireworks that are ground-based that, once lit, erupt sparks and often whistle or crackle. Fountain fireworks can reach heights of up to 20 feet.

The National Safety Council provides the following tips for those who plan to set off fireworks.

* Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

* Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.

* Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.

* Never light fireworks indoors.

* Only use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable material.

* Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

* Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.

* Never ignite devices in a container.

* Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.

* Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.

Even trick and novelty fireworks, including those that smoke, sparkle, snap and snake, are not without potential safety risks 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.

* Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body, as well as away from 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 since they can remain extremely hot for several minutes following burnout.

“Even sparklers can cause serious injuries if not handled correctly, Metheny said. “Always supervise their use or consider safer alternatives like glow sticks, especially for children.”

In the event that fireworks are being used improperly or outside of permitted dates and times, Ohioans should contact their local law enforcement agency. For a complete review of the fireworks rules, visit the State Fire Marshal’s website at

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