COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — This Fourth of July weekend, Ohioans are being asked to keep both safety and the law in mind, especially when it comes to fireworks.
“We want to remind people that the only legal fireworks are the four S’s, which are smoke, snakes, sparklers and snaps,” said Battalion Chief Steve Martin, with Columbus Division of Fire.
Battalion Chief Martin is advising residents to only use small trick and novelty fireworks — and not the consumer grade types such as mortars, roman candles, or firecrackers, which are illegal in the state of Ohio.
“Most of the hospital visits for those types of firework or entertainment things are going to be burns to the hands or torso,” said Chief Martin.
And according to emergency room doctors, like Dr. Ryan Squier with OhioHealth, those visits are some of the worst.
“Across the emergency departments, not just within Central Ohio, but across the state that we all encounter every year is individuals who attempt to discharge fireworks from their hand. And that can be a devastating injury for people, it can lead to long term disability,” said Dr. Ryan Squier, Associate Medical Director of OhioHealth New Albany FSED.
Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 15,000 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks injuries, compared to about 10,000 in 2019.
And hospitals saw the biggest spike in firework-related visits from young adults.
However, if you do happen to sustain second- or third-degree burns, Dr. Squier advises the following.
“The sooner we can wash it, make sure it’s clean, potentially place some simple over the counter anti-biotic ointment, and then clean, dry bandage over it, that’s one of the best things we can do,” said Dr. Squier.
Violating Ohio’s firework laws is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 and six months in jail.