It’s now legal to light fireworks through Saturday night - the 4th.  In most communities. Not all follow the state law to the letter.  State law allows fireworks to be shot off from your private property from 11 am through 11:45 each day. If a law enforcement officer should catch you in the process of lighting off fireworks outside that time frame you could be facing a fine of up to $1,000.

Some communities, like Albion for instance, have stricter local ordinances about when you may touch off fireworks.  It is a good idea to check with your local unit of government to make sure what is allowed where you live. It is your responsibility to know. Some general statewide restrictions are in place. One is that you are not allowed to take fireworks to shoot off in parks or any public property. The same restriction is in place to keep school property and churches free from fireworks.

Many veterans organizations ask you to think about neighbors who are trying to work their way through the effects of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, from their combat experiences. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to fireworks. Most people don’t give a second thought to lighting off big aerial shots. But what happens if it falls on your neighbor’s property and starts a devastating fire involving a vehicle, or maybe a home? Many of us know how some pets react to loud sharp noises. Some are totally at ease. Others can’t be budged from hiding spots for a long time after they wedge themselves in to get away from the frightening sounds.

Many law enforcement departments across Michigan have been fielding complaint calls about fireworks for more than two weeks. Some people use the Independence Day holiday as an excuse to make a lot of noise for a long time.  And now as the calls to police increase, departments are put in the position of having to explain the legalities of fireworks handling to residents who think a neighbor shooting them off at 8 pm shouldn’t be allowed. Sales of consumer-grade fireworks are continuing at a brisk pace. Most sellers say people are buying to make sure their kids get to see a show since many municipal shows are canceled this year.

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