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State Fire Marshal Calls for Extreme Caution, Safety When Using Fireworks; Hot, Dry, Windy Weather Sparks Greater Risk for Fires, Injuries, BurnsContact: Mario Morrow 517-373-9280Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
June 29, 2012. With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, State Fire Marshal Richard Miller today urges Michiganders to adhere to strict safety measures and take every precaution when discharging fireworks especially during the continuing dry and hot weather across Michigan.
"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.
The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act:
"Although fireworks and celebrations go together, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries," said Miller. "You can prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by promoting fireworks safety where you live and during your family and neighborhood celebrations."
Here are some important fireworks safety tips:
In addition to fireworks, another favorite item used in celebrations is sky lanterns. Sky lanterns are not fireworks but are classified as an aerial candle which when set aloft, are no longer under the control of the operator. They function much like a miniature hot air balloon and remain aloft for 10-12 minutes. While producing a beautiful visual effect, sky lanterns can pose a significant fire hazard if not used properly.
Here are some safety tips when using sky lanterns:
A list of legal consumer fireworks, legal low impact fireworks, and novelties is outlined below or go to http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/fireworks_381040_7.pdf. To learn more about fireworks safety, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, or to find state-certified fireworks retailers, go to the Bureau of Fire Services website at www.michigan.gov/bfs.
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