The City of Westlake hosts an annual fireworks celebration on the 4th of July. Even though there are a host of regulated fireworks displays in our area, some residents still elect to set off their own fireworks displays, which can be dangerous-and even illegal.
Ohio residents are permitted to purchase and use select types of fireworks. Following are specifics regarding fireworks purchase (and use), as taken from the Ohio State Bar Association website.
Ohio law regulates all types and uses of fireworks in Ohio. The law gives the State Fire Marshal statewide authority over the exhibition, sale, possession, usage, and storage of all fireworks in Ohio. According to the law, a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler can sell 1.4g fireworks to consumers on a year-round basis. However, consumers who buy fireworks may not discharge them in Ohio. In fact, nonresident purchasers must take the items out of the state within 72 hours of purchase, and Ohio residents who buy 1.4g products must take the fireworks out of the state within 48 hours. Anyone who buys 1.4g fireworks must sign a form agreeing to obey the law and take the purchased items out of state within the required time frame.
In Ohio, fireworks are divided into 4 primary categories:
- 1.3g items - typically the large fireworks you see at a display on the 4th of July;
- 1.4g items - commonly known as firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets;
- 1.4s items - most often associated with indoor pyrotechnics such as a flash pot at a concert; and
- novelties and trick noisemakers and wire sparklers - small items containing a limited amount of explosive or smoke-causing product.
Licensure & Permits
Only a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler of fireworks (in an ATF-approved explosive storage facility) or a licensed fireworks exhibitor with a permit from the appropriate local authority can possess 1.3g items. Ordinary consumers cannot buy or possess 1.3g items.
While consumers may buy 1.4g items, these can only be sold and possessed as described as above. It is a criminal offense (1st degree misdemeanor) to use 1.4g items in Ohio or to possess them longer than the stated time periods.
Anybody may buy novelty items at any retail store that chooses to sell such items, and may use them at any time during the year.