Fireworks are causing a big bang this season and not just up in the sky. Many Michiganders were previously forced to travel to Indiana and Ohio to buy consumer fireworks. A new law was passed that now allows the sale of consumer fireworks in the State of Michigan that includes high projectiles like roman candles, bottle rockets and aerials, in addition to the traditional sparklers, party poppers and a variety of ground based devices. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60% of all firework injuries occur during the 30 days around the 4th of July.
The CPSC States:
More than half of these injuries were the result of unexpected ignition of the device or consumers not using fireworks as intended. Fireworks injuries most often resulted in burns to the hands and head, including the eyes, face, and ears. According to the special study, sparklers, firecrackers, and aerial devices were associated with the most incidents.
This new law will surely bring an increase of firework use in the state – and with that an increase in resident responsibility on the use and safety of these devices. The Brighton Area Fire Authority fears an increase in the number of injuries and burns due to most users not familiar with these new aerial devices. We encourage residents to work with local vendors and those running the stores and ask what a specific device does, what the clearances should be and how to store fireworks along with how to best put something out if it doesn’t go off. And to remember that anything shot off your property, also needs to land back on your property.
The Michigan Bureau of Fire Services and the state Fire Marshal’s office is handling the approval and inspection process of the tents and facilities looking to sell consumer fireworks and the new vendors and businesses coming into town have went through the permitting process.
If you do decide to try out the bigger fireworks this year use some common sense safety rules which include:
- Fireworks shall only be ignited from your property and land on your property. Fireworks can not be discharged from the roadway, schools, parks, and other public areas
- Wear appropriate footwear and hand protections and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to launch them.
- It is best to store fireworks outside of your home in a garage or shed and have them secured inside of a metal container
- Keep fireworks out of the reach of children.
- Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire
Some great resources for your use:
- Another, much safer, alternative to launching your own fireworks is to attend one of the many professional firework displays put on by many of the surrounding communities! Here is a link for the upcoming displays.
- If you have questions or concerns over the new law regarding fireworks in the State of Michigan visit this site from the state.
- If you would like to see examples of the different fireworks classifications.
As always, if your smoke alarms do not work or you do not have a smoke alarm contact the Brighton Area Fire Authority (810-229-6640) and we will replace or install them for free! Working smoke alarms dramatically increase your chances of surviving a fire.