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New Philadelphia and possibly Dover keeping strict fireworks laws

| May 17, 2022

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 17, 2022) – The state’s fireworks laws change on July 1.

Ohioans will be allowed to set off consumer grade fireworks on and around eight specific holidays.

Except not in New Philadelphia, and possibly not in Dover.

Under the New Philadelphia Fire Department’s recommendation, that city has opted out of the new Ohio law. That means only professionals at approved events can set off the big displays in New Philadelphia, according to Fire Capt. Jim Sholtz.

“These are licensed people, and they notify us months ahead of time,” he said. “We walk the site where they’re going to set off the fireworks. We make sure there’s proper separation between the fireworks and the crowds. We make sure they have the proper firefighting equipment.”

He says firefighters still have safety concerns.

“I have seen some fireworks accidents that have caused some injuries,” Shotz said. “We’ve also seen where some of the fireworks that are on the larger size have the explosive power to kill or seriously injure people, so it is a concern of ours.”

That means city residents are still limited to the lower-grade fireworks.

“You’re talking smoke bombs, sparklers, snap caps, stuff like that,” Sholtz said. “The things that are prohibited are firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles. Those things of that nature on up are prohibited.”

Sholtz says most municipalities across the state are opting out of the new regulations.

Dover City Council will soon consider similar legislation to opt out of the new fireworks laws, too. The legislation proposed Monday would also reaffirm “the ban on discharging, igniting or exploding fireworks in the city of Dover.”

In places that don’t opt out, residents can set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve and Day, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day weekend, Juneteenth, Labor Day weekend, Diwali and several dates around the Fourth Of July holiday. This year those dates are July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10.

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