SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – It may be tempting to celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, but beware, depending on the location setting off fireworks could be illegal.
Fireworks displays are not permitted in dozens of cities despite a new state law allowing residents to buy and set off fireworks. Under House Bill 172, cities can set limits on igniting fireworks.
Communities, including South Euclid, chose to ban consumer fireworks displays. So far, fireworks-related calls in South Euclid are substantially lower than years past.
“The message was received very well throughout the community,” said South Euclid Sergeant William Lazor. “There would be zero tolerance for fireworks for the safety of the residents, the structures and the well-being of everyone around.”
The change in fireworks related calls was surprising to the sergeant who said it may be related to the overall decrease in activity during the height of the pandemic.
“We were actually very surprised,” said the sergeant. “With the past few years with the pandemic, people had a little bit more free time … we only had 20 calls this weekend for service for fireworks with only three citations being issued.”
Typically, Sgt. Lazor said the department may receive to 20 to 30 calls each day about fireworks this time of year. The decrease is a welcome change, police said that could help improve safety by helping residents avoid fireworks injuries.
“It is a safety concern, a lot of times there is alcohol and drug use associated with fireworks so that obviously impairs people’s logical thinking,” said Lazor.
FOX 8 reached out to several police departments from across Northeast Ohio to determine if there was an increase in fireworks related citations. Cleveland Police said they might have more information to share after the holiday weekend.