By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
In December, the state of Michigan signed new laws regarding regulations for fireworks. These laws reduced the number of days fireworks can be used and gave more decision-making power to local governments pertaining to consumer usage.
Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD) Chief Robert Smith updated the DAFD board about new firework regulations at their June 20 meeting, specifically talking about when fireworks would be allowed to be used. House Bill 5939 reduced the number of days unrestricted fireworks would be allowed to be used from 30 days to 12.
Dates that local government cannot regulate consumer fireworks are: Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, , the Saturday and Sunday preceding Memorial Day until 11:45 p.m. on both days, June 29 – July 4 until 11:45 p.m. on each of those days, Jule 5, only if it’s a Friday or Saturday, until 11:45 p.m., and finally, the Saturday and Sunday preceding Labor Day until 11:45 p.m. on both days.
Violators of this ordinance would receive a $1,000 fine, up from $500, for each offense. Another important distinction Smith told the DAFD that differed in years past was that it was now an “opt-in” choice for an ordinance for local government’s regulating the use of consumer fireworks on, before, or after a national holiday.
“If you have fireworks and want to limit fireworks you have to opt-in to limit fireworks to the days the state has on record otherwise consumer-grade fireworks can be used 365 days a year. I want to get that out to the municipalities so they can look at it,” said Smith at the June 20 meeting. “It’s also some changes in the language. I would encourage you to talk to your municipalities so they have a clear direction on what they want to do.