State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is urging Michiganders to use caution when handling fireworks as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.
“We anticipate many people will purchase consumer fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” Sehlmeyer said. “All Michiganders should consider the dry conditions when setting off fireworks. They should have a bucket of water or a garden hose available in case they were to have a ground fire while setting off consumer fireworks.”
More than 10,000 injuries and burns are treated in hospital emergency rooms annually because of the misuse and malfunction of fireworks, according to a 2020 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to Sehlmeyer, Michiganders can protect themselves and their family by following these basic fireworks safety tips:
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Adults should always supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers.
- Designate a 25-feet radius “safe perimeter” away from people, houses, dry areas and other flammable materials.
- Ensure people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Light fireworks outdoors on a driveway or other paved surface at least 25 feet away from houses and flammable materials such as dry grass or mulch.
- Light fireworks one at a time, and then immediately back away to a safe distance.
- Use a metal shovel to pick up used fireworks, dispose in water or metal bucket.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
- Put all used fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding them in a trash can to reduce your chance of starting a fire.
Additionally, Michiganders should remember to not do the following:
- Experiment with or make your own fireworks.
- Buy fireworks packaged in brown paper or use unlabeled fireworks – they are for professional use only.
- Allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Place any part of your body directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse.
- Try to re-light “duds” or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. (Rather, wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.)
- Point or throw fireworks at other people.
- Carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
Consumers should also be aware:
- State law requires that consumer-grade fireworks can only be ignited from personal property. It is illegal to ignite fireworks on public property (including streets and sidewalks), school property, church property, or another person’s property without their express permission.
- It is illegal to discharge fireworks when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Consumers must be 18 years of age or older to purchase fireworks in Michigan.
A list of legal consumer fireworks, legal low impact fireworks, and novelties can be found at this link.
Check for any updated consumer product advisories.
In addition to fireworks safety, Fire Marshal Sehlmeyer also reminds Michiganders to ensure working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are installed in your home. “Push the button” on your smoke alarms and CO detectors to make sure they are working properly both at home and when visiting cottages or cabins, traveling in trailers, or boating while enjoying the Great Lakes state.
For more information on fire safety and information to prevent fires, please visit www.miprevention.org or follow MI Prevention on social media.