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Summer: Fireworks


The City of Westlake hosts an annual fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July. Even though there are a host of regulated fireworks displays in our area, some residents still elect to set off their own fireworks displays, which can be dangerous—and even illegal.


Ohio residents are permitted to purchase and use select types of fireworks. Following are specifics regarding fireworks purchase (and use), as taken from the Ohio State Bar Association website:

Ohio law regulates all types and uses of fireworks in Ohio. The law gives the State Fire Marshal statewide authority over the exhibition, sale, possession, usage, and storage of all fireworks in Ohio. According to the law, a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler can sell “1.4g” fireworks to consumers on a year-round basis. However, consumers who buy fireworks may not discharge them in Ohio. In fact, nonresident purchasers must take the items out of the state within 72 hours of purchase, and Ohio residents who buy 1.4g products must take the fireworks out of the state within 48 hours. Anyone who buys 1.4g fireworks must sign a form agreeing to obey the law and take the purchased items out of state within the required time frame.


In Ohio, fireworks are divided into four primary categories:


Only a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler of fireworks (in an ATF-approved explosive storage facility) or a licensed fireworks exhibitor with a permit from the appropriate local authority can possess 1.3g items. Ordinary consumers cannot buy or possess 1.3g items.


While consumers may buy 1.4g items, these can only be sold and possessed as described as above. It is a criminal offense (1st degree misdemeanor) to use 1.4g items in Ohio or to possess them longer than the stated time periods.


Anybody may buy “novelty” items at any retail store that chooses to sell such items, and may use them at any time during the year.



Links to Fireworks Safety Information and Organizations

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

National Safety Council (NSC)

US Consumer Product Safety Commission

National Council on Fireworks Safety


Source: Ohio State Bar Association





Fall: Halloween


Costume Safety


Pedestrian Safety


General Safety


Additional Resources

Halloween Safety (National Safety Council)

Know the Rules...Safety Tips for Halloween (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Tricks for planning a safe Halloween (American Red Cross)

National Crime Prevention Council


Source: National Crime Prevention Council






Winter: Holidays


If You Are Traveling


If You Are Out for the Evening


If You Are Shopping


Protect Your Vehicle


If a Stranger Comes to the Door

Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. Sadly, it's not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others' generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations when there's no charity involved. Ask for identification, and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren't satisfied, don't give. Help a charitable organization you know and trust instead.


After Gifts are Opened

Burglars know that many households have new, and oftentimes expensive, items in their homes following the December holidays – especially items such as new computers, cameras and other electronic equipment. In too many cases, residents make it easy for burglars to figure out which homes to target by putting boxes that identify their new gifts in plain view with their other garbage.


Avoid becoming a target for post-holiday burglars by not leaving boxes for new electronics and other items at the curb. Instead, break down any boxes you are throwing out, put them in garbage bags and place them inside a trash can. (You also might consider keeping the boxes for safe storage, shipping or moving in the future.) Also consider keeping broken-down boxes inside – in a garage, for example – until the evening before your regular garbage pick-up. Some burglars actually look inside garbage cans for evidence of holiday gifts.


Take a Holiday Inventory

The holidays are a good time to update—or create—your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.


Make sure things like TVs, DVRs, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders, sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment, and power tools are on the list.



Celebrate Responsibly

The holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Have fun, but remember to celebrate responsibly—if you drink, have a designated driver with you, or call a cab to get you home safely.