July 3, 2012 – Sellers of newly legalized, more powerful consumer fireworks who are doing so illegally, without state certification will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, State Fire Marshal Rich Miller today warns.
“Now that the sale of consumer fireworks is legal, retailers must be certified by the State,” said Miller. “We want fireworks retailers to operate their businesses legally, safely and successfully. We also want to ensure those who violate the law are properly sanctioned in order to protect consumers.”
The sale and use of consumer fireworks (more powerful devices such as firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles) became legal January 1, 2012 when Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 256 of 2011 known as the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act. Low impact fireworks – ground-based items such as sparklers, toy snakes, snaps, and poppers are all legal for sale and use.
State inspectors with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Bureau of Fire Services are conducting on-site inspections and informing sellers without certification that they are in violation of the Act. Miller said inspectors will also inform sellers of the state law, applicable fines, and prosecution of offenders. The Bureau of Fire Services will complete secondary follow-up inspections to verify compliance. “Safety, education and enforcement is our priority,” said Miller.
An authorized retailer, by law, must have the state Consumer Fireworks Certificate and certificate of insurance liability coverage prominently displayed in their facility, along with “No Smoking” signs. They are also prohibited from selling fireworks to anyone under age 18 and they must verify the age of buyers by checking appropriate identification such as a driver’s license, military identification card, enhanced driver’s license or passport.
To sell consumer fireworks in Michigan, retailers must complete an application to the Bureau of Fire Services using the online system at www.michigan.gov/bfs, including all required documents and fees. The applicant must pay an application fee of $1,000 for a permanent building or structure or $600 for a retail location that is not a permanent building or structure. The location must meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements and be approved by the Bureau of Fire Services. Applications must be submitted no later than April 1 of the year the fireworks are sold. The Consumer Fireworks Certificate is valid from the date of issue until April 30 of the following year. A retailer must apply annually and meet all statutory requirements.
Retailers who fail to comply with the law of annually obtaining a state Consumer Fireworks Certificate and illegally sell consumer fireworks are subject to being convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or a fine of not more than $5,000 for each day they are in violation.
Retailers selling low-impact fireworks in the state of Michigan must register online each calendar year at least 10 days before the low-impact fireworks are sold. The retailer must also collect the 6 percent Fireworks Safety Fee and remit those fees to the State of Michigan. There is no cost associated with registration. Retailers selling both consumer and low impact fireworks must register at the online registry.
A list of consumer fireworks, low impact fireworks, and novelties is outlined below or go to http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/fireworks_381040_7.pdf . For those who want to learn more about fireworks safety, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, or are looking for state-certified fireworks retailers, go to the Bureau of Fire Services website at www.michigan.gov/bfs.