ANN ARBOR, MI – If your plans for holiday fun involve making explosions in the sky, there are some rules to remember.
Ann Arbor officials are reminding city residents of the laws when it comes to fireworks heading into the Fourth of July.
A violation of the city’s fireworks ordinance is a civil infraction subject to a fine up to $500 plus costs.
On recents days and nights, private fireworks displays could be seen and heard in various parts of the city.
But under city ordinance, setting off fireworks is only allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on the day of a national holiday, as well as the day before and the day after.
Any use of fireworks at other times is illegal, with one exception for New Year’s Day when it’s allowed between midnight and 1 a.m.
That means for this Independence Day, they’re only legal on July 3, July 4 and July 5, and only after 8 a.m. and before midnight. As the holiday falls on Tuesday this year, that means no fireworks before Monday and none after Wednesday.
The rules for fireworks in Ann Arbor are found in the “Weapons and Explosives” section of the city code, which refers to consumer fireworks the same way they’re defined in the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, which is Public Act 256 of 2011.
“While the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act broadens the selection of fireworks available for home/amateur use statewide, it is important to know there are still usage parameters per City of Ann Arbor ordinance,” the city stated in a news release.
The prohibitions apply to consumer fireworks, which are defined as fireworks devices that are designed to produce visible effects by combustion, such as Roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and other missile-type rockets. The prohibitions do not apply to ground and handheld sparkling devices.
Ann Arbor officials also are reminding residents that fireworks use is always prohibited on public property, as outlined in the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, including parks, school property, church property or any property where the owner hasn’t given permission.
Using fireworks under the influence of alcohol and controlled substances also is illegal.
City officials advise residents to use fireworks with extreme caution and be mindful of other residents, pets and neighbors. Many dogs panic at the sound of fireworks, so the Fourth of July holiday can be a long and frightening experience for canine neighbors.
Veterans and military support organizations also emphasize that fireworks can be particularly traumatic for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you choose to use fireworks, city officials say please follow the rules, but also use common courtesies such as:
- Informing neighbors in advance of your fireworks plans
- Limiting the frequency of your use of fireworks during the acceptable usage hours
- Cleaning up all debris resulting from your fireworks use
Ann Arbor’s police and fire departments also offer the following safety guidelines:
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.
- After a fireworks display, never pick up fireworks right away that may be left over, as they may still be active. Fully soak used/dud fireworks in water, and dispose of in the trash, not in recycling.
- The risk of fireworks injury is more than twice as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population. Children should never participate in setting off fireworks, and they should remain a safe distance away from where fireworks are being set off.
- Sparklers may seem harmless, but the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
- Additional safety guidelines are available on the Ann Arbor Fire Department webpage, and the National Fire Protection Agency website.
For more information about the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, which took effect statewide in 2012, see the frequently asked questions on the state of Michigan website.For those interested in celebrating Independence Day in other ways, Ann Arbor officials note the city’s outdoor pools at Buhr, Fuller and Veterans Memorial parks are open. The Ann Arbor Skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park and the canoe liveries at Argo and Gallup also are open on Independence Day.
And for anyone looking to pick up fresh, local ingredients for a holiday picnic, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open Saturday, July 1,
“And don’t forget about golf,” the city notes. “Play a round at Huron Hills or Leslie Park golf courses; or give FootGolf a try, 4 p.m. at Huron Hills Golf Course. Bring your own soccer ball or rent one for $5. It’s fun for all ages, and no experience is necessary.”