Michigan Fireworks Safety Act:
Last summer, the Michigan Legislature made headlines by enacting a new law– the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act —loosening its grip on the regulation and prohibition of fireworks in Michigan. Most notably, the Act legalized the sale of Consumer grade fireworks in Michigan, and prohibited any local ordinance that banned the sale of fireworks. It also prohibited any local ordinance that banned the ignition of fireworks on the day before, the day of, or the day after, a major holiday.
This meant that bigger fireworks, like roman candles, bottle rockets, aerials, and missile-type rockets, allbecamelegal in Michigan—and local city and municipal governments could not do anything about it. And while these local governments still had authority to prohibit residents from igniting fireworks on many days of the year, any major holiday—as well as the day before and after it—could not be regulated. 2012 was a big year for wannabe rocketeers.
2012 was also a year of uproar from many citizens who opposed the new law, and the Legislature heard their cries. This June, an amendment to last year’s Act was passed. The amendment allows local governments to restrict firework usage anytime between 12 AM and 8 AM every day of the year(except New Year’s, when restrictions cannot begin until 1 AM). This applies to cities that have at least 50,000 residents or that are located in a county with at least 750,000 residents. Smaller communities can set a similar ban,but between the hours of 1 AM and 8 AM. Thus, if cities elect to use this new authority, we could be seeing a much quieter 4th of July this year, at least at night.
Aside from noise and nuisance, safety is also a key concern of the Act (as it has been since its original passage last year). The Act provides punitive sanctions for anyone who causes a fire or injuries with fireworks of any kind, even sparklers. It also prescribes punishment for people who sell fireworks without proper certification from the state. Furthermore, fireworks are prohibited on school and public property, and are only allowed on private property with the owner’s consent. So while the Act allows more people to have fun with fireworks, it also leaves room for more injury, and as a result, more trouble with the law if you don’t act within the government’s guidelines.
So what’s legal today? Any commercial grade firework is still fair game per the original 2012 Fireworks Safety Act, as long as you are on private property (with permission of the property owner), and as long as you don’t cause any injuries or fires. When can you light them off? It depends on your city. Some, like Troy, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, and Ann Arbor, are already working on or have passed ordinances restricting nighttime firework usage. Your best bet is to simply avoid lighting off fireworks between midnight and 8 AM, keeping you safe under even the strictest ordinances. Outside those hours? Take your roman candles, bottle rockets, and missiles, and fire away safely.
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