The Lorain Police Department and the Lorain Fire Department are joining together to take steps to curb this growing problem. In the past few years the use of illegal fireworks has continued to proliferate in the City of Lorain and it has reached the point where every neighborhood is negatively impacted. The Police Department receives literally hundreds of calls during the two week period preceding the 4th of July; it has become impossible to keep up with.
We are advising our citizens that we believe that illegal fireworks represent a serious threat to the community's safety. We are further requesting that individuals and families refrain from discharging fireworks on their own and we would encourage all to attend one of the many public displays, such as that sponsored by the Lorain Port Authority. The handling of fireworks and explosives is a professional endeavor, best left to those with proper training and certified through the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office.
Bottle rockets, firecrackers and M-80's may be fun but they also may set your house or your neighbor's house on fire. M-80's, in fact, are not even fireworks; they are considered explosives and they can blow off your hand, blind you, or cause other serious injuries. Even sparklers, which can heat up to 1000 degrees fahrenheit, can cause severe burns and injuries; one little girl who had a sparkler caught in her shoe required a stay in a burn unit, skin grafts and long term therapy.
Research shows that 9,000 people are injured annually because of fireworks and 45% of them are under 4 years of age. All fireworks can be dangerous so the best way to avoid these mishaps is to not use them at all.
In Lorain, we deal with hundreds of "noise complaints" during this period; in addition, we have had to address calls where adults and children have been seriously injured and burned; bottle rockets and fireworks have landed on roofs of houses (belonging to owners and neighbors) and started fires; they have landed on and damaged vehicles that were parked; fireworks have been misdirected or landed on vehicles that were traveling down the road causing drivers to panic and swerve; neighbors have physically fought because of the noise or debris landing in their yards.
Possession of Most Fireworks is Against the Law:
There is a misconception that most fireworks in Ohio are legal and that is not true. There are three categories identified by the State Fire Marshal's Office. Most consumers of fireworks probably violated the law by signing a form that they would remove the fireworks from Ohio within 48 hours. In addition, ORC 3743.65 makes it a first degree misdemeanor to unlawfully possess, sell, or discharge fireworks.
We will do the best that we can with enforcement this year. The Lorain Police Auxiliary will have a dedicated special enforcement team out the 4th of July weekend to monitor and investigate complaints. When violations are confirmed by Auxiliary Officers or personally observed by regular officers the person(s) responsible will be cited under state statute and the illegal fireworks will be confiscated.
So, please do your part to help protect our community. This 4th of July, celebrate our freedoms with enthusiasm but please, celebrate safely. Don't use illegal fireworks.
Chief Cel Rivera Chief Thomas Brown Lorain Police Department Lorain Fire Department (440) 204-2103 (440) 204-2220