VERIFY | If you plan to set off fireworks this weekend, do you know the laws here in Ohio?

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Fireworks always a sight to be seen. But setting them off? That's a whole other matter.

To Verify the law, we reached out to a collection of experts:

SOURCES: 

  • Ohio interim Fire Marshall, Jeff Hussey
  • Sandusky Fireworks Superstore President, Scott Allison
  • State Representative Martin Sweeney.

The Fire Marshal tells us fireworks in Ohio fall into three categories:
-Trick and Novelty
-Consumer and
-Exhibitor

So which is which?

Let's start with Trick and Novelty fireworks, which we found, all into the four S's.

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"The four S's are Snaps, Snakes, Sparklers and Smoke Bombs. Items you can find at Walmart.
No one really wants those, but those are pretty much unregulated items that can be sold pretty much anywhere," says Scott Allison.

Including in his Sandusky store. But the big sellers there are the thousands of the dazzling explosives. Everything except the high-octane kind that could light up Progressive Field…which are the ones classified as Exhibitor fireworks.

His store is one of 44 wholesale locations, licensed through the Fire Marshal's Office to sell the Consumer kind. And you definitely get a big bang for your buck with these pyrotechnics - but be careful what you buy.

"The more traditional consumer fireworks like Fire Crackers and Bottle Rockets are illegal to set off in Ohio," Fire Marshall Jeff Hussey.

Yep. You can sell them. And you can buy them. But we learned you have to get them out of the state in 48 hours because it's against the law to set ‘em off. 

Get caught and you could face a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. But it seems a lot of people are taking that chance.

State Representative Martin Sweeney says, he knows Ohioans have been 'doing it in the dark' for decades. Which is why he wants to change, what he calls, the “chaotic” way we sell them and enforce the law.

And there is a proposal: House Bill 266. We're told it would clear the smoke and let local jurisdictions control regulation - such as setting time restrictions or permit requirements.  That’s the same way it's done in surrounding states. But that isn't the law here...just yet.

So...are fireworks illegal in the state of Ohio?

The Fire Marshal sums it up best: "It is legal to purchase them, they just cannot be set off in the state legally."

And that's Verified.

But here's the other thing you need to be careful about.  If you're going to buy any fireworks, you can only go to one of those 44 licensed stores in the state. Otherwise you will definitely be breaking the law.

RESOURCES: 

Below is a list of the 44 Fireworks Wholesalers and the 6 Fireworks Manufacturers. After speaking with our Testing & Registration Bureau Chief, she pointed out something that will be helpful for you. Wholesalers are the retail stores, however manufacturers can also be retail stores in addition to manufacturing Fireworks. Our chief said she believes that most, if not all, of the 6 manufacturers operate as a store as well. I’ve included their names and city below as well.

 

Type

Name

Facility City

Wholesaler

OHIO FWKS MANU & DISPLAY CO INC

BELLAIRE

Wholesaler

SAFETY 4TH FIREWORKS, INC

CARROLLTON

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

AMELIA

Wholesaler

LIBERTY FIREWORKS INC

EAST PALESTINE

Wholesaler

JAMES R VOKOUN

WALHONDING

Wholesaler

HOWARD ALLISON EXEMPT TRUST

SANDUSKY

Wholesaler

HAMBURG FIREWORKS DISPLAY INC

LANCASTER

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

BLOOMINGBURG

Wholesaler

SAFETY 4TH FIREWORKS INC

JEFFERSONVILLE

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

FAYETTE

Wholesaler

THE EAGLE FIREWORKS CO

QUAKER CITY

Wholesaler

I 70 & 77 FIREWORKS INC

CAMBRIDGE

Wholesaler

THE ROZZI COMPANY INC

LOVELAND

Wholesaler

INTERSTATE SPECIALTIES INC

BLUFFTON

Wholesaler

LIBERTY FIREWORKS INC

UHRICHSVILLE

Wholesaler

STYLUS

WINTERSVILLE

Wholesaler

SAFETY 4TH FWKS INC

HAMMONDSVILLE

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

MILLERSPORT

Wholesaler

J & G FIREWORKS LLC

UTICA

Wholesaler

MILLER FIREWORKS COMPANY INC

HOLLAND

Wholesaler

MILLER FIREWORKS CO INC

CURTICE

Wholesaler

PHANTOM IMPORTING AND DISTRIBUTING LLC

HOLLAND

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

CURTICE

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

HOLLAND

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

YOUNGSTOWN

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

NORTH LIMA

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

WOODSFIELD

Wholesaler

MIDSTATE NOVELTY & FWKS INC

CECIL

Wholesaler

US 30 FIREWORKS INC

CONVOY

Wholesaler

MIDSTATE NOVELTY & FIREWORKS INC

CONVOY

Wholesaler

SAFETY 4TH FIREWORKS INCY

EDINBURG

Wholesaler

MIDWEST FIREWORKS MFG CO INC II &

DEERFIELD

Wholesaler

MIDWEST FIREWORKS MFG CO INC & PACIFIC FINANCIAL SERVICES OF AMERICA INC

DEERFIELD

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

MANSFIELD

Wholesaler

CHILLICOTHE FIREWORKS INC

CHILLICOTHE

Wholesaler

CRAZY COO FWKS INC

WHEELERSBURG

Wholesaler

WHOLESALE FIREWORKS III INC

NORTH CANTON

Wholesaler

DISCOUNT FIREWORKS INC

MASSILLON

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

CANTON

Wholesaler

WHOLESALE FIREWORKS INC

NILES

Wholesaler

WHOLESALE FIREWORKS CORP

HUBBARD

Wholesaler

SAFETY 4TH FIREWORKS INC

DOVER

Wholesaler

THE EAGLE FIREWORKS CO

MARIETTA

Wholesaler

PHANTOM FIREWORKS SHOWROOMS LLC

WEST SALEM

Manufacturer

LA SPARKS LLC

CONNEAUT

Manufacturer

PYROTECHNICS BY PRESUTTI

BELLAIRE

Manufacturer

THE ROZZI COMPANY INC

MARTINSVILLE

Manufacturer

SPRINGFIELD FIREWORKS INC

BLUFFTON

Manufacturer

AMERICAN PROMOTIONAL EVENTS INC - EAST

DAYTON

Manufacturer

AMERICAN FIREWORKS CO INC

HUDSON