July 1, 2022 OH Fire Code Update

1 July 2022 an amendment to OH Fire Code will go into effect. This update states Ohioans can legally discharge 1.4G consumer fireworks, in Ohio, on certain days unless the relevant political subdivision has chosen to ban their use. (Ohioans are NOT permitted to purchase or discharge 1.3G display fireworks.)

Amendments to the fire code regarding consumer discharge of fireworks are contained in Rule 56 of the OFC at section 5626. (https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-administrative-code/chapter-1301:7-7)

The State Fire Marshal’s website (State Fire Marshal (SFM) | Ohio Department of Commerce) contains information and resources regarding the new provisions.

FAQs for Consumers – Ohio’s New Fireworks Law | Ohio Department of Commerce

FAQ for Fire Service – Ohio’s New Fireworks Laws | Ohio Department of Commerce

OFC sec. 5626 | Ohio Department of Commerce   

Below are some helpful tips and information regarding the discharging of fireworks.

Dates and times consumers can legally discharge 1.4G fireworks:
Beginning in July 2022, unless limited by local laws, Ohioans can discharge consumer fireworks on the following dates and times:

  • July 3, 4, and 5, and the Friday, Saturday and Sunday immediately before and after July 4th (4 p.m.-11 p.m.) 
  • Labor Day weekend (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • Diwali (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • New Year’s Eve (4 p.m.-11:59 p.m.)
  • New Year’s Day (12 a.m.-1 a.m.; 4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • Chinese New Year (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • Cinco de Mayo (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • Memorial Day weekend (4 p.m.-11 p.m.)
  • Juneteenth (4 p.m.-11 p.m.) [June 19]

Where can fireworks be discharged?
Consumers can discharge fireworks on their own property or on another person’s property if the owner of that property has given express permission for fireworks to be discharged on their property.  

CAUTION: Local political subdivisions may ban fireworks or restrict the dates and times that fireworks can be used. Even though state law allows consumers to discharge 1.4G fireworks on the above dates and times, political subdivisions (villages, cities, townships or counties) can ban the use of fireworks within their boundaries.  They can also restrict the dates and/or times that fireworks can be used by consumers within their boundaries.  If a political subdivision takes such action, the local law controls in that area.  Consumers should check their local laws to make sure consumer discharge of fireworks is legal in their area. 

What rules apply to the use of 1.4G fireworks by consumers?
Ohio Revised Code § 3743.45 (as effective July 1, 2022) and Ohio Fire Code § 5626 (effective July 3, 2022). (click on link to read in their entirety).  Relevant provisions outline how 1.4G consumer fireworks must be used and stored by consumers.  Some provisions in the rules include:

  • No person under the age of 18 is permitted to handle or discharge fireworks.
  • Persons under the age of 18 cannot be within 150 feet of the discharge point of aerial fireworks.
  • Aerial devices cannot be discharged within 150 feet of spectators (this includes aerial shells, roman candles, cakes, and bottle rockets).
  • Non-aerial devices cannot be discharged within 50 feet of spectators (this includes fountains, firecrackers, and ground effect devices).

Note: These separation distances – for both aerial and non-aerial devices – are increased for certain types of locations such as hospitals, schools, healthcare and residential facilities, apartment and multi-tenant buildings, military installations and railroads. 

  • No person can store in excess of 125 pounds (net weight of pyrotechnic composition) of fireworks unless they have additional safety measures and safeguards in place for such storage.
  • Fireworks cannot be discharged indoors.
  • Fireworks cannot be aimed at or discharged toward any person or object (such as buildings).
  • Fireworks cannot be discharged on public property or private school property.
  • Fireworks cannot be discharged if drought conditions exist or in an area where a red flag warning is in place or other weather hazard exists.
  • Fireworks cannot be discharged within 150 feet of property housing livestock unless 5 days advance written notice is provided to the owner of the property where the livestock is housed. 

In addition, relevant provisions state that no person can negligently use fireworks while in possession or control of, or under the influence of, any intoxicating liquor, beer, or controlled substance. A person who violates this is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor.

What are some safety tips for the discharge of fireworks?
Fireworks are extremely dangerous – so, please be safe and follow basic safety protocols.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following guidelines for safety:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Only use fireworks away from people, houses, and flammable material.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby to fully douse fireworks that don’t discharge or in case of fire.