Recent tragedies show there are no “safe” fireworks.
Since 2014 many high powered fireworks have been legal in Michigan. Used properly, they can be a source of great fun and entertainment. Used improperly, however, they can cause serious injury or death, and cause accidental fires.
In 2014, a 44-year-old Detroit man was killed in an accident involving a high powered firework. In 2015, a 47-year old Walled Lake man died in a similar accident.
To help Detroiters celebrate safely this year, Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones is reminding people that there is no such thing as safe fireworks and to use basic precautions.
“Something as basic as a sparkler, which a lot of children play with, can get up to 2,000 degrees,” Jones said. “In fact, sparklers cause nearly half of the fireworks injuries that send people to the hospital each year.”
With larger scale fireworks now available to the general public, Jones is urging people to use only legal fireworks purchased from an authorized seller. He recommends that all residents refrain from any use of fireworks. However, if residents use legal fireworks, he urges proper use at all times.
Those who decide to use fireworks should adhere to the following precautions:
- Do not wear loose clothing, which may contact the fireworks. To prevent accidental burns, wear long sleeves and pants if you are lighting fireworks.
- Always wear appropriate eye protection.
- Store unused fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Ignite fireworks outside and away from the house, garage or any other structure.
- Set off fireworks on a hard, flat surface in an open area. Never ignite fireworks on a dry grassy area.
- Never ignite fireworks inside any container, glass bottle or metal cylinders.
- Always keep a safe distance.
Be smart. Stay safe.
- Never experiment with fireworks, especially around vehicles that may contain residual flammable liquids i.e. gasoline
- Never try to re-light fireworks that malfunction.
- If a firework does not go off, stay away. Do NOT get close to check it.
- Keep a bucket of water or hose handy, just in case.
- Light fireworks one at a time. Leave the professional show to the professionals.
- Never light fireworks if you’ve been consuming alcohol or drugs.
The City’s fireworks ordinance emphasizes the restrictions involving the possession and sale of fireworks, Jones said. The ordinance prohibits the sale of any type of fireworks to anyone under 18 years of age and mandates that anyone wishing to sell legal fireworks must first obtain a license from the City.
For more information, or for a copy of the ordinance, please contact the Detroit Fire Marshal’s Division, Public Instruction Section: