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Legislation to Legalize the Use of Consumer Grade Fireworks in Ohio

COLUMBUS– State Senator Dave Burke (R–Marysville) introduced legislation today to
legalize the use of 1.4G consumer grade fireworks in the State of Ohio. Current law
requires consumer grade fireworks bought in the state to be transported out within 48
hours of purchase and prohibits an individual from using 1.4G fireworks in Ohio.

The intent of the legislation is to allow Ohioans the freedom to celebrate their national
pride and joy in a safe and responsible manner. In recent years, states across the country
have began to loosen their laws that restrict the use of fireworks as the industry has taken
major steps in making fireworks safer for consumers. Since 1976, firework consumption
has risen 615-percent, while the firework injury rate has steadily decreased. The injury
rate has dropped from 38.3 injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks consumed in 1976 to
6.1 injuries per 100,000 pounds in 2013.

“The data appears to speak for itself. We have safer products today than we did in the
past.” Burke continued “This legislation allows for a more informed consumer and an
ability to increase public safety while engaging in this American tradition.”

The bill will also generate additional resources to give the state the ability to educate
consumers on proper firework safety practices. The State Fire Marshall’s office will be
required to design a safety pamphlet to be distributed to the consumer at the point of each
sale. It is our hope that this education will help increase safety and decrease injuries
statewide. To encourage more consumers to recognize the importance of eye safety,
firework retailers will also be required to have safety glasses available for purchase at a
nominal fee or free.

To help fund the state’s increased safety efforts, the bill will also enact a 6-percent
fireworks safety fee on the sale of all consumer grade fireworks in the state. 5-percent of
the fee will be directed towards the Fire Marshall’s office to help fund firefighter training
statewide, and 1-percent towards regulation and enforcement of the fireworks industry.
Indiana, Michigan, and Texas have adopted similar fees in recent years.

The bill will now move to the Senate Reference Committee for committee assignment.

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