• Municipalities Gain More Control Over Consumer Fireworks
  • July 4, 2013
  • Law Firm: Foster Swift Collins Smith P.C. - Lansing Office
  • Legislation signed on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 will give local governments more control in regulating the use of "consumer fireworks." Public Act 65 of 2013, sponsored by Rep. Harold Haugh (D-Roseville), amends the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act ("Act") by authorizing cities, villages, and townships to enact ordinances regulating consumer fireworks during certain nighttime hours on national holidays, the day before national holidays, and the day after national holidays. Previously, these local units of government were preempted from regulating the use of consumer fireworks on these days.

    According to the new law, local units of government (defined as cities, villages, and townships) may enact ordinances regulating the ignition, discharge, or use of consumer fireworks as follows:

    Local units of government with populations of 50,000 or more, or local units in counties with populations of 750,000 (currently Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties) or more may regulate the ignition, discharge and use of consumer fireworks from 12 midnight - 8 a.m. year-round and from 1 a.m. - 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

    Local units of government with populations of less than 50,000 that are located in a county with a population less than 750,000, may enact ordinances regulating consumer firework usage only from 1 a.m. - 8 a.m. year-round.

    The new law only regulates "consumer fireworks." Michigan law broadly defines "fireworks" as any composition or device (except starting pistol, flare gun, or flare) designed for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, deflagration, or detonation.

    However, "consumer fireworks" has a more limited definition. "Consumer fireworks" under MCL 28.452 include "fireworks devices that are designed to produce visible effects by combustion, that are required to comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations declared by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16 CFR parts 1500 and 1507, and that are listed in [American Pyrotechnics Association] standard 87-1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, or 3.5."

    The definition of "consumer fireworks" also specifically excludes "low-impact fireworks" (i.e. ground and handheld sparkling devices). The State of Michigan website provides information on what types of fireworks are considered "consumer fireworks" and "low-impact fireworks" at www.michigan.gov/bfs.

    Municipalities may impose up to $500 in fines for violations of ordinances enacted under the new law. The legislation has immediate effect.