Thursday, July 2, 2020

Local communities limit use of consumer fireworks

There will be plenty of reason to celebrate on Independence Day this Saturday, but residents are advised to remember there are new restrictions in many communities regarding the use of consumer fireworks.
“Consumer fireworks are now readily available for purchase and have become a popular way to celebrate holidays, but use of them should not be taken lightly,” said Canton Township Deputy Police Chief Craig Wilsher. “Consumers need to stay vigilant in strictly adhering to safety precaution recommendations, protecting themselves and those observing nearby,” he added. Unlawful use of fireworks in Canton can be reported to the Public Safety Department non-emergency line at (734) 394-5400, at the auto attendant dial 2, then 1. Emergency situations should be called in to 911. Violators are subject to a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of $1,000, Wilsher said.

In Canton, the discharge of novelties, low-impact fireworks and consumer fireworks are permitted from 11 a.m. until 11:45 p.m. only, on Monday, June 29 through Saturday, July 4.
Consumer fireworks are prohibited on public property, school property, church property, or property of another person without written permission. Minors are prohibited from possessing, using, igniting or discharging consumer fireworks.
In Canton, it is unlawful for anyone under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance or both to use fireworks. Violations in Canton can result in a $500 fine.
In Northville Township, consumer fireworks are limited to the day before and the day after the Fourth of July from 8 a.m. until midnight.
Fire Chief Brent Siegel said the township did not see too many instances of injuries due to fireworks mishaps.
“I will say injuries are not common instances in Northville Township, although I don't promote it. It is definitely a danger, not only physically, but the risk of an accidental fire is serious,” he said.
“I just don't encourage it,” Siegel said.
The City of Northville also adopted a change to the local ordinance which reduces the number of days and limits the times that fireworks can be set off by individuals around major holidays. The ordinance allows fireworks to be set off only from 11 a.m. until 11:45 p.m. from June 29 to July 4 and from 11 a.m. until 11:45 p.m. on Friday, July 5. Fines for violations have been increased to $1,000.
According to national statistics, 40 percent of injuries from fireworks are to hand and fingers and happen to people 25 to 44 years of age. Additionally, statistics report, 68 percent of fireworks injuries are suffered by men.
 Sumpter Township Director of Public Safety Eric Luke said that fireworks are allowed in the township until 11:45 a.m. from June 29 to July 4.
He said township residents are usually cooperative with the rules which limit fireworks to personal property only and forbid them on any public property. Fireworks in Sumpter are considered those that explode and or leave the ground, like sky rockets, bottle rockets, firecrackers, multiple rocket launchers, sky lanterns and Roman candles.
Luke said the fire department usually doesn't see much of an increase in injuries during the celebrations. “We respond to the occasional injury but don't see much of an increase,” he said.
Sumpter, too, has a $500 fine for violation of the fireworks ordinance.
The City of Wayne Police Department posted a message on their official social media site noting, “We have received an increase of complaints surrounding firework noise. We are asking all residents to do their part, and adhere to the laws regarding fireworks. The police department would rather not issue citations to violators, but we will. So please, respect your neighbors and save the fireworks for the legal days and times only,” the official post read.  Official times are 8 a.m. until midnight the day before and the day after July 4.
A violation in Wayne could result in a $500 fine.
Westland officials have also imposed restrictions on fireworks in the city.
The city ordinance that governs the use of fireworks was changed by members of the council in June, 2019 to align with the Michigan State Firework Safety Act of 2018. The state rules now allow more municipal control of fireworks.
Officials said that the issue generated a significant number of complaints from residents each year, particularly during the warmer months.
“This amendment is aimed to address and alleviate citizen's frustrations and concerns for our friends and neighbors who have bad reactions to fireworks,” officials said at the time the new ordinance was approved.
The adopted amendment to the city ordinance reduces the number of days and time allowed for fireworks to 12. Fireworks can only be ignited during the hours between 11 a.m. and 11:45 p.m. except Dec. 31 when they are permitted between 11 a.m. and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.
The 11 a.m. until 11:45 p.m. restrictions are in effect on the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day and on each of those holidays; on June 29 to July 4 and on each of those holidays; on July 5, but only if that date is a Friday or Saturday and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day and on that holiday.
Each violation will now result in a civil infraction with a fine of $1,000.
To report the misuse of fireworks in Westland, contact the Westland Police Department non-emergency phone line at (734)722-9600.
The local ordinance in the City of Belleville is more inclusive, allowing fire- works in the city between midnight and 8 a.m. the day of, before and after a national holiday. The more restrictive state laws, however, could still be imposed in the community. The City of Romulus ordinance code for fireworks is in accordance with the state laws.
State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer said fireworks are explosives and their misuse can result in irreparable injury or death.
“Potential for carbon monoxide poisoning and accidents is a concern in a lot of summer activities, including fireworks, camping and backyard grilling,” said Sehlmeyer.
“Remember to keep the kids away from the fireworks, and always keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water handy when lighting fireworks.”