The Ohio Fire Marshal warned Ohioans of the dangers of home fireworks shows. He asked people to skip at-home fireworks celebration this Independence Day. While Portsmouth will be hosting a drive-in fireworks display at Spartan Stadium on the 4th, many other communities canceled their celebrations completely. As a result, many people decided to host do-it-yourself shows.
Fire departments across the state said they’ve seen a surge in complaints about home fireworks displays. The Fire Marshal said home shows are a bad idea for several reasons.
Ken Klouda, chief of the State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Bureau, reminded Ohioans that a lot of the fireworks they love are illegal in the state. “We encourage Ohioans to celebrate the July 4th holiday, but we want them to do it safely and legally.”
Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles are legal to purchase in Ohio. However, buyers are required to take them out of the state within two days. Licensed exhibitors are the only people permitted to set them off.
What can you set off legally in Ohio? Only trick and novelty fireworks. Including:
Fireworks can be dangerous to people and pets. The noise can traumatize people with PTSD and sensitivity issues and also agitate pets and wildlife. Fireworks sound like gunshots, leading to police calls. These calls tie up valuable resources.
“These neighborhood fireworks displays are disruptive to families, disruptive to pets and wildlife, and can create a greater opportunity for devastating injuries,” said Chief Jonathan Westendorf, president of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. “The risk is real. Something can always happen.”
Last year, hospitals treated close to 7500 people for fireworks-related injuries during June and July. Even legal fireworks pose dangers. According to Ken Kouda, “While sparklers may seem like harmless toys, they’re not without their risks. Some of them can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees and cause serious burn injuries, especially to young children.”
If you must play with fireworks, the Fire Marshal suggested the following safety tips:
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 of a trick and novelty device.
Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body, as well as others.
Sparklers should only be used by someone 12 years of age or older.
Place Sparkler wires immediately be in a bucket of water. They remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.
Consider substituting sparklers for a safer alternative, such as glow sticks.
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