Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
June 25, 2009 - The Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth's (DELEG) Bureau of Fire Services today issued a reminder to practice fire safety when using fireworks this Independence Day.
"Fireworks can quickly turn a Fourth of July celebration into a tragedy when children and adults are injured while using fireworks," said State Fire Marshal Ronald R. Farr. "For all the fun and excitement of fireworks, they account for an increasingly large number of injuries and fires that are preventable when proper and strict safety measures are taken."
Farr said that extreme care must be used when setting off Michigan-legal fireworks such as cone fountains and cylinder fountains that emit a shower of sparks that can cover a very large area. Farr encourages people to attend professional displays at Fourth of July events run by their municipalities and enjoy the celebrations safely.
"The only safe way to enjoy fireworks is at a distance, leaving the danger and the worry to professionals," he said. "However, if you decide to set them off on your own, make sure that the type of fireworks is legal in Michigan and use extreme caution."
Be sure to follow these important safety tips:
Michigan's firefighters and emergency medical personnel know all too well of the danger of fireworks. The majority of fireworks-related injuries are burns, followed by contusions and lacerations, and most frequently involve hands and fingers, eyes, head, and face. The risk of fireworks injury is customarily two-and-a-half times higher for children ages 5-9 or 10-14 as for the general population. Parents and caregivers play a critical role in keeping children safe.
Although legal, sparklers present a serious danger because of the high temperature of the wire during and after its use.
"Many children are badly burned by sparklers each year," said Farr. "They can burn as high as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and stay hot long after they've burned out. Promptly dispose of the wires in a bucket of water."
As fireworks season begins it is important to know which devices are regulated and require a permit. If you are interested in conducting a fireworks display using regulated devices you must contact the local governing body of the jurisdiction where the proposed display will be conducted to obtain the required permit. Michigan Law, 1931 PA 328, as amended, MCL 750.243; MSA 28.440, regulates the sale, possession, transportation, and use of fireworks devices within the state. Outdoor displays must comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards according to NFPA 1123: Code for Fireworks Display.
Michigan does not carry age restrictions for purchase or use of Class C fireworks. The legal devices below can be sold without a permit.
Permits are required for Class B fireworks and fireworks displays. Class B fireworks as defined in the Michigan Penal Code, Act 328 of 1931, as amended, section 750.243a(b) are: "…toy torpedoes, railway torpedoes, firecrackers or salutes that do not qualify as class C fireworks, exhibition display pieces, aeroplane flares, illuminating projectiles, incendiary projectiles, incendiary grenades, smoke projectiles or bombs containing expelling charges but without bursting charges, flash powders in inner units not exceeding 2 ounces each, flash sheets in interior packages, flash powder or spreader cartridges containing not more than 72 grains of flash powder each, and other similar devices."
Two documents that are followed with respect to fireworks are available from the National Fire Protection Agency: NFPA 1123: Code for Fireworks Display and NFPA 1124: Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles.
To find out more information regarding fireworks safety and the permit process, visit the Bureau of Fire Services website or contact the Bureau of Fire Safety at 517-241-8847.