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Michiganders Should Use Caution When Handling Fireworks This Independence Day

Michiganders who plan on setting off fireworks this Independence Day should be aware of the risks and know the dangers involved. State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer urges Michiganders to use caution when handling fireworks to prevent injuries this holiday.

“We anticipate many people will purchase consumer fireworks and put on their own fireworks show over the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” said Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. “The Bureau of Fire Services is asking consumers to understand basic fireworks safety before handling and launching fireworks.”

Please consider the following safety tips:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Have an adult supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then immediately back away to a safe distance.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Care should be taken when disposing of fireworks. Many house, garage, and shed fires have started from used fireworks debris (boxes, wrappers, and cardboard) placed in trashcans without first dousing or diluting with water. In some cases, these fires have occurred hours after the debris was placed in a trash can.

It is important to 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 a fireworks device 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 also 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.

For a list of legal consumer fireworks, legal low impact fireworks, and novelties go to: For more information visit the Bureau of Fire Services website at

On behalf of the Bureau of Fire Services, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday weekend. The State Fire Marshal also reminds visitors and Michigan residents to “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, etc. while enjoying the Great Lakes state.

For more information on fire safety and information to prevent fires, please visit or follow MI Prevention on social media.