CLEVELAND — New Year's Eve is almost upon us, and with the celebratory holiday comes the celebratory fireworks (sanctioned or unsanctioned).
While shooting off fireworks is now technically legal in Ohio on certain holidays, several municipalities exercised their right to opt out of the legislation. That includes Cleveland, where it remains illegal to both possess or ignite fireworks without a permit.
The city reminded residents of this in a warning issued Friday, also noting fireworks "can also be hazardous and ignite a fire that could quickly get out of control."
In addition, officials also cautioned against celebratory gunfire, which has always been and remains illegal throughout the state. Police warn such gunfire is "very dangerous," especially when stray bullets land where they are not supposed to.
"In any area, but especially in a densely populated urban area like Cleveland, the consequences of celebrating New Year's Eve or any other occasion with a gun can be devastating," the statement read. "The intention may be a celebratory shot toward the sky, but the consequences of that moment can be disastrous for a neighbor or someone blocks away, causing injury or death."
Officers, firefighters, and EMS workers will be on duty throughout New Year's Eve, but all further advise that "safety starts at home in your neighborhood." Anyone caught shooting off fireworks or gunfire could be charged with a crime.