City commissioners approve Dayton fireworks ban ordinance

DAYTON — The Dayton city commissioners voted Wednesday night to ban fireworks in the city before a state law allowing them goes into effect next summer.

By approving the ordinance, Dayton became the first known city in the Miami Valley to implement such a ban after the Governor signed the new fireworks law in November.

“Over the last several years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Dayton has experienced a proliferation of fireworks use in its neighborhoods,” an ordinance introduced during Wednesday’s Dayton City Commission meeting read. “The unsafe and illegal discharge of fireworks poses a significant danger to the public and cause serious injuries as well as significant property damage.”

The ordinance cites the city of Dayton receiving “numerous complaints every year regarding illegal fireworks use.”

In 2019, Dayton police responded to 212 calls for fireworks. In 2020, that jumped to 1105 fireworks calls. So far in 2021, Dayton police have responded to 421 fireworks calls.

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In November, Gov. Mike DeWine signed off on a modified fireworks law that will allow Ohioans to launch consumer-grade fireworks beginning this July.

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House Bill 172 would allow adults to use consumer grade fireworks on private property during New Year’s Eve and Day, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and July 3, 4, 5 as well as the three-day weekends before and after July 4. Fireworks would also be permitted on private property for the Chinese New Year and Diwali.

The state fire marshal’s office was tasked with having to adopt rules regulating the time, manner and location of consumer fireworks use, however the bill left it open for local governments to enforce their own rules.

The new ordinance does not impact fireworks shows done by a licensed fireworks exhibitor if the show is approved by the city.