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Fireworks Laws: Restrictions on explosives vary by state

FLORENCE, Ky. (Josh Knight) -- Many people stock up on fireworks for the Fourth of July but before lighting the fuse, are you aware of the rules where you live?

In 1776 John Adams wrote Independence Day should be celebrated with bonfires and illuminations.  But which "illuminations" allowed for celebrations depends on where the party takes place.

"In general, the state law is that, if you shoot fireworks, you need to be an exhibitor," district Chief Fred Prather for Cincinnati said.

Ohio enforces the strictest laws on fireworks, "You can buy them, but as far as discharging, again you need a permit and you need to be a trained individual," Chief Prather continued.
Stores like Phantom Fireworks have locations in all three states in the tri-state but when a customer walks in they sign a different papers according to where they are manager Jerad Lebretton said.

"Ohio is a little bit more restrictive.  You can purchase full line there, but you can't use full line there though.  You actually sign saying that you'll take it out of state," Lebretton said.
Novelty items like sparklers and smoke bombs, however, are allowed.  Indiana has historically been the most relaxed with consumer grade fireworks.  In Kentucky a person must be 18-years-old and confirm they will follow the laws; like being 200 feet from cars, homes, and people.

In Kentucky the rules changed about three years ago.  That was why in Florence, at the Phantom Fireworks, a person can buy a large firework for about $1,500.  But it's not all about size.  Even in Cincinnati someone can use large fireworks.  But really, no matter where you are, it's all about how safe you are.

Use common sense and be safe.  If you're going to have fireworks or be around them, no matter what size they are, have a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.

Localities can enforce additional rules beyond state law.  They recommend calling your local fire department for specifics.

CLICK HERE for a list of fireworks displays all-around the tri-state.

Follow Josh Knight on Twitter @joshknightwx and LIKE him on Facebook




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