Fireworks present legal, safety issues

BEAVER TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio and Pennsylvania have similar laws when it comes to fireworks.

Novelty fireworks like the sparklers or party poppers can be used. In Ohio, after someone buys illegal fireworks, they have to sign a paper saying they will leave the state within 48 hours.

But that didn’t stop hundreds of people from across the region from buying fireworks on Thursday at Phantom Fireworks. People were lined up aisle after aisle throughout most of the day.

Marc Hansen drove all the way from Pittsburgh to get fireworks.

“It’s for the kids. They love it and enjoy it. That is why you do it,” Hansen said.

He has been to the store before.

“I like the mortars basically. The ones that shoot up in the air,” Hansen said.

But before people walk out with their fireworks, they need to make sure they don’t break the law.

“In Ohio, you have to sign a form saying you are going to take it out of state,” Phantoms Fireworks CEO Bruce Zoldan said.

Pennsylvania has similar laws. Most novelty fireworks like sparklers, party poppers and glow worms are legal.

People have been filling boxes with fireworks all week.

“I think this is better than Christmas for me,” customer Sonia Ferrell said.

“Just as we expected on a Friday Fourth of July, we are having the biggest crowds we have had in about eight or nine years,” Zoldan said.

Also, if you plan to use fireworks, there are some safety tips to keep in mind.

“Use common sense. Make sure children are just viewers and are not participating in the shooting and that you have a clear, safe distance,” Zoldan said.

Anyone caught with illegal fireworks could face some stiff penalties, including six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

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