Fireworks: What’s legal, what’s safest

By Duane Weyand - Wilmington Chief of Police

As this holiday weekend approaches a lot of people are running out to fireworks retailers looking to load up on fireworks.

Very few people know the law concerning fireworks. The pyrotechnic industry made $755 million in 2015 (per the American Pyrotechnics Association).

Far too often retailers don’t inform their consumers of the laws concerning possession of fireworks at the risk of losing a sale. In Ohio, you can buy fireworks and possess them for the purpose of transporting them out of state within 48 hours of the sale. This doesn’t apply to a licensed manufacturer or those licensed to put on public displays of fireworks.

The only legal fireworks to purchase are those that don’t blow up, like sparklers, party poppers and smoke devices. Fireworks like bottle rockets, firecrackers and other items that will explode are in violation of the law — and you can be subject to arrest for them.

Each year parents allow their kids to play with sparklers, and several of them get severally burned. Sparklers can burn between 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the chemical make-up of the sparkler. A wise choice would be to leave these on the store shelves or keep them away from young children.

Your best option for a safe Fourth of July event is to visit our city park and watch fireworks put on by locally licensed pyrotechnics. This year, Bible Baptist Church sponsors the event as they have done in the past.

Each year the event is a wonderful gathering of family, friends and neighbors celebrating our wonderful country, our strong sense of community, and our freedom.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

Duane Weyand is Chiefof Police of Wilmington.

By Duane Weyand

Wilmington Chief of Police