STRASBURG (WJER) (July 1, 2022) – First responders in the communities where it’s now legal to set off consumer-grade fireworks are reminding people of the risks they take by using them.
Strasburg Fire Chief Steven Laskey says he’s only seen one instance where a firework caused significant property damage in his 29 years in the profession, although it’s best to play it safe and use them in open areas with a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
“That was a mishap of a misguided Roman candle into a garage that had a lot of paper storage, but for the most part most of the things I’ve seen have been either injuries from people lighting them in their hands or burning themselves.”
And he says sparklers, which remain legal everywhere, are one of the most common culprits.
“Yes, the sparklers are fun for children but those burn extremely hot and can cause severe burns if not handled correctly.”
Unlike some other communities in the area, Strasburg hasn’t opted out of the new law allowing Ohioans to set off fireworks during Fourth of July weekend and some other holidays throughout the year. Neither has Newcomerstown, which means people there can also ignite them. Village Firefighter Heather Stein-Wells says if you do, use extreme caution.
“The biggest things that we see are maybe fireworks that accidentally explode earlier than you anticipate and maybe you’re not far enough away or you’re still holding onto them. One of the big things that we worry about are facial injuries because obviously if it explodes in your face, it can cause damage to the eyes and facial area.”
It’s still illegal to set off consumer-grade fireworks in Dover, New Philadelphia, Uhrichsville, and Dennison. Those are the ones that explode on the ground or shoot up into the air that you can only get at fireworks stores.