Michigan regulations concerning commercial-grade fireworks have changed.
Beginning in late June and continuing through the Independence Day holiday – and often far beyond – most people in Michigan see or hear fireworks displays. Many cities sponsor fireworks displays staged by professionals, while other fireworks are private displays taking flight from streets and back yards.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least eight people died and about 12,900 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents in 2017. While the majority of the injuries and deaths resulted from amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other fireworks or explosives, thousands were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.
The National Safety Council advises that people only enjoy fireworks at a public display. But for those who just have to make noise and light on their own, the Council offers this advice on different types of pyrotechnics:
Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but they are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Parents don’t realize they burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and many children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.
These small rockets are attached to a stick, lit by a fuse and typically fired from a bottle. Teens have been known to have bottle rocket wars, firing them at one another and causing chest, head and eye injuries.
Firecrackers are designed to explode on the ground. They are often linked together by one long fuse and explode in a series. They are designed to be very noisy, but they also can cause burns and other serious injuries.
Roman candles eject exploding shells from a tube hand-held by the user. There have been numerous reports of children losing fingers, severe burns and other injuries, which are sometimes caused when the device gets jammed.
You hear them go off every year: M-80s, M-100s, even M-250s. The unmistakable explosions associated with these devices can rattle the windows of homes for blocks. They are produced illegally and without quality control, have short fuses and cause hundreds of extremely severe injuries each year. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives outlines the risks of these explosive devices.
If you plan to use any type of fireworks this July 4, be sure to follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council:
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Never light fireworks indoors.
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire