3743.53 Qualifying as exhibitor and for exhibitions.

(A) The fire marshal shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that establish qualifications that all applicants for licensure as an exhibitor of fireworks shall satisfy. These rules shall be designed to provide a reasonable degree of assurance that individuals conducting public fireworks exhibitions in this state are proficient in handling and discharging fireworks, are capable of handling the responsibilities associated with exhibitions as prescribed by rule of the fire marshal pursuant to divisions (B) and (E) of this section or as prescribed by sections 3743.50 to 3743.55 of the Revised Code, and will conduct fireworks exhibitions in a manner that emphasizes the safety and security of the public. The rules shall be consistent with sections 3743.50 to 3743.55 of the Revised Code and may include, in addition to other requirements prescribed by the fire marshal, a requirement that the applicant for licensure successfully complete a written examination or otherwise successfully demonstrate its proficiency in the handling and discharging of fireworks in a safe manner and its ability to handle the responsibilities associated with exhibitions.

(B) The fire marshal shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that govern the nature and conduct of public fireworks exhibitions by licensed exhibitors of fireworks. These rules shall be designed to promote the safety and security of persons viewing a fireworks exhibition, to promote the safety of persons who, although not viewing an exhibition, could be affected by fireworks used at it, and to promote the safety and security of exhibitors and their assistants.

The rules shall be consistent with sections 3743.50 to 3743.55 of the Revised Code; except as otherwise provided in this section, shall be substantially equivalent to the most recent versions of chapters 1123, 1124, and 1126 of the most recent national fire protection association standards; and shall apply to, but not be limited to, the following subject matters:

(1) The construction of shells used in a fireworks exhibition;

(2) Except as the storage and securing of fireworks is addressed by the rules adopted under division (E) of this section, the storage, securing, and supervision of fireworks pending their use in, and during the course of, a fireworks exhibition, and inspections by exhibitors of fireworks to be used in an exhibition prior to their use. These rules shall regulate, among other relevant matters, the storage of fireworks in manners that will effectively eliminate or reduce the likelihood of the fireworks becoming wet or being exposed to flame, and appropriate distances between storage sites and the sites at which fireworks will be discharged.

(3) The installation and nature of mortars used in a fireworks exhibition, and inspections by exhibitors of mortars prior to their use;

(4) Minimum distances between storage sites, discharge sites, spectator viewing sites, parking areas, and potential landing areas of fireworks, and minimum distances between discharge sites, potential landing areas, and residential or other types of buildings or structures;

(5) The nature of discharge sites and potential landing sites;

(6) Fire protection, the use and location of monitors for crowd control, the use of fences and rope barriers for crowd control, illumination, smoking and the use of open flame, and posting of warning signs concerning smoking or the use of open flame in connection with fireworks exhibitions. These rules may provide some authority to local officials in determining adequate fire protection, and numbers and locations of monitors.

(7) Procedures to be followed in the discharging of fireworks;

(8) Weather and crowd-related conditions under which fireworks may and may not be discharged, including circumstances under which exhibitions should be postponed;

(9) Inspections of premises following a fireworks exhibition for purposes of locating and disposing of defective or unexploded fireworks. Inspections shall be required immediately following an exhibition, and, if an exhibition is conducted at night, also at sunrise the following morning.

(C) All mortars used in a fireworks exhibition that are greater than or equal to eight inches in diameter shall be equipped with electronic ignition equipment in accordance with chapter 1123 of the most recent edition of the national fire protection association standards.

(D) Only persons who are employees of licensed exhibitors of fireworks and who are registered with the fire marshal under section 3743.56 of the Revised Code shall be permitted within the discharge perimeter of an exhibition.

(E)

(1) The fire marshal shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and consistent with division (E)(3) of this section that establish both of the following:

(a) Uniform standards for the stability and securing of fireworks storage racks used at a fireworks exhibition;

(b) A detailed checklist that a fire chief or fire prevention officer, in consultation with a police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer of a municipal corporation, township, or township or joint police district or with a designee of such a police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer, shall complete, while conducting the inspection required under division (C) of section 3743.54 of the Revised Code at the premises at which a fireworks exhibition will take place, to ensure that the exhibition will comply with all applicable requirements of this chapter, and all applicable rules adopted under this chapter, that regulate the conduct of a fireworks exhibition.

(2) Each licensed exhibitor of fireworks shall comply with the rules that the fire marshal adopts under division (E)(1)(a) of this section.

(3) Prior to the fire marshal's adoption of the rules referred to in divisions (E)(1)(a) and (b) of this section, the director of commerce shall appoint a committee consisting of the fire marshal, three representatives of the fireworks industry, and three representatives of the fire service industry to assist the fire marshal in adopting those rules. The fire marshal shall adopt initial rules under those divisions by not later than May 1, 2001.

(F) A fire chief or fire prevention officer, in consultation with a police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer of a municipal corporation, township, or township or joint police district or with a designee of such a police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer, shall conduct the inspection referred to in division (E)(1)(b) of this section, complete the checklist referred to in division (E)(1)(b) of this section while conducting the inspection, and provide a copy of the completed checklist to the fire marshal.

(G) A designee, if any, designated by a police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer under this section or section 3743.54 of the Revised Code shall be a law enforcement officer serving in the same law enforcement agency as the police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer.

Cite as R.C. § 3743.53

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 06-29-2001