City administrators are flashing some reminders and advice about safety and the law for people who are set on setting off consumer fireworks this summer.
According to City Manager Mark Vanderpool, Michigan law allows people to set off consumer fireworks on national holidays, as well as the day before and after. Upcoming holidays that fit this description include Independence Day and Labor Day.
Vanderpool said lawful consumer fireworks may be launched or used between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight on those permitted days. Sterling Heights has banned consumer fireworks use for all other days not protected in the state law, he said.
“If you’re using the fireworks, there’s also a number of other restrictions in terms of where they can be set off — distance from buildings, public property, private property and so on,” Vanderpool said.
“You can go to our website on our main page in the top right corner. You can click on the firework icon, and you can get much more detailed information.”
Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin listed some safety tips for consumer fireworks use, though he generally discourages the practice.
“Obviously, our stance is always that — just don’t. Leave it to professionals,” he said. “We know that that’s not going to happen.”
Martin said anyone organizing a fireworks display should make sure an adult who is not intoxicated is the person responsible for igniting the devices. Safety glasses and gloves should be used, he said.
Spectators should watch from a clear distance away, he said. Last year, a firework setup malfunctioned, causing a firework to shoot into a garage and burn a couple of kids, he said.
“Just before it launched, the base tipped over,” he said. “Make sure you have a solid foundation from where you launch these things.”
Martin said any discarded firework materials should be submerged in water and not just placed into a garbage bag because those materials can still be hot for hours afterward.
Lastly, fireworks users should clean up after themselves.
“That’s not a fire thing,” he said. “That’s just a nice thing.”
Contact the Sterling Heights Fire Department by calling (586) 446-2950. Learn more about Sterling Heights and its fireworks laws by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.