Fireworks safety reminder

State Fire Marshal Richard Miller is urging Michigan residents to be safe and careful with fireworks during the 4th of July period, especially considering the continued hot and dry conditions across the state.

“Safety and adult supervision is critically important whether you’re celebrating with sparklers or the larger, more powerful legalized fireworks,” said Miller. “Any small spark or misfire can lead to an out-of-control situation where people can easily sustain severe injuries or unintentionally start fast-spreading fires that can lead to loss of life and property.”

Miller said there are an increasing number of reports of firework-related incidents: people in critical condition after fireworks detonated in their faces; fire damaging or destroying homes and garages that started with unsupervised children setting off bottle rockets with hot embers falling onto dry leaves and starting fires.

The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act (Public Act 256 of 2011) effective January 1, 2012, legalized the sale and use of consumer or 1.4g fireworks in Michigan. Consumer fireworks are items such as Roman Candles, bottle rockets, sky lanterns, and other items that leave the ground. Low impact fireworks – ground-based items such as sparklers, snakes, snaps, and poppers remain legal for sale and use. Firecrackers, cherry bombs, M80s and similar devices remain illegal. Display fireworks such as 1.3g and above are regulated and licensed for purchase and use by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Individuals 18 years of age or older, upon showing proof of their age with a driver’s license, military identification card, enhanced driver’s license or passport, can purchase consumer fireworks from any authorized retailer. An authorized retailer, by law, must have a Consumer Fireworks Certificate prominently displayed in their facility. If a retailer sells consumer fireworks without a Consumer Fireworks Certificate issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Fire Services, that retailer is doing so illegally. These retailers are subject to being convicted of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $5,000 per day they are in violation of the Act and may face imprisonment of not more than two years.

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