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Posted on Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Michigan Fireworks Act being revisited to allow cities to ban overnight usage

By Katrease Stafford


Indiana resident Andrew Milliman explains a type of firework to Dexter residents William Derksen, 13, and his sister Claire, 10, as they look over fireworks recently at a tent on the corner of South Maple and West Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor. They were looking just for fun. While aerial explosives such as bottle rockets, mortars and roman candles are now legal, brother and sister Derksen will have to wait until they're 18 to buy them.

Jeffrey Smith |

Michigan's Fireworks Safety Act led to several noise complaints around the state last summer and possibly could be modified to allow some municipalities to ban overnight usage, MLive reported.

The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act went into effect Jan. 1, 2012, prohibiting some ordinances restricting usage of fireworks on the day before, of and after a national holiday — a total of 30 days a year. That act also legalized previously illegal “aerial” explosives like bottle rockets.

MLive reported that the provision frustrated local officials around the state — many of whom had received complaints from residents.

Democratic State Rep. Harold L. Haugh of Roseville introduced House Bills 4743 and 4744 Thursday, which would allow a local unit of government to enact an ordinance prohibiting the use of consumer-grade fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m. on those 30 days, which he believes will help to curb unwanted behavior. reported the 2012 law allows certified vendors to sell airborne consumer-grade fireworks, including bottle rockets and roman candles. Vendors who sell those types of fireworks are required to pay an application fee, as well as collect a sales tax and an additional six percent safety fee for the state.

The new legislation seeks for the money collected from the safety fee to be distributed for training and local inspections and cracks down on those who avoid paying sales tax or safety fees. has reported both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have similar noise ordinances. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., there is a 61-decibel limit in a residential neighborhood. From 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., it’s lowered to 55 decibels.

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The Michigan Fireworks Act may change soon, thanks to recently introduced legislation.

Last year, the Ann Arbor Police Department enforced the noise ordinance during Fourth of July weekend as usual.

Sgt. Kevin Murphy of the Saline Police Department said at the time, the law was "somewhat ambiguous."

Former Ypsilanti Fire Chief Jon Ichesco called the aerial fireworks “misguided missiles.”

Ischesco said at the time that he thought there may be more injuries, fires and people ending up in court due to the fireworks.

Fireworks were cited in two fires on the Fourth of July.

In February, the city of Ypsilanti banned consumer fireworks after receiving numerous complaints from residents about excessive noise. However, they still are allowed on national holidays, the day before a national holiday and the day after a national holiday within city limits.

"There were some fireworks on Christmas Day at 10 p.m. at night," said Council Member Ricky Jefferson in February. "During the Fourth of July month they were blasting until 3 a.m. in the morning. When it comes to disturbing the peace, something has to be regulated."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, May 19, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

So it's okay for the 13 year old idiots to shoot them off to land in other people's yards, unsupervised. Very hot, VERY dry days where they could easily start a fire, and stupid parents who pay no attention. Some people have animals that are entitled to take a poop in their own yard without the neighbor shooting bottle rockets into it. And outside city limits, it would be days, not hours for the sheriff to do anything about it. I have to chaperone my dog in my fenced yard so he doesn't get hit.


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

It is simply not possible, I hope, for the A2 City Council to have enacted such blatantly stupid legislation. 61 dB is the volume of a normal conversation. Thus, according to this law, every barking dog, lawn mower, screaming child, etc., are in violation.


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

There is no reason whatsoever to allow fireworks, such as bottle rockets, to be fired off in the middle of the night. The act which also legalized previously illegal "aerial" explosives like bottle rockets, was a huge mistake and was done for business interests, without regard for excessive noise in residential areas at all hours, and without regard for these dangerous fireworks in the hands of children and teens who have no business shooting off bottle rockets or anything like it.


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

Yeah but if handle right and some ear protection is used, its good clean fun and harmless. If it gives some folks enjoyment what the harm ? Most people today have A/C in their houses, shut the windows and turn the A/C on if it bugs you so much. Least where I live, 99% of them only go on for 20--30 mins at the most. BTW I'm too cheap to buy fireworks, there is other stuff I rather have but that's me, what about other folks and their interests. Some buy $$$ and shoot them off in one night. They must really enjoy do it and they really aren't harming anybody.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 8 p.m.

This makes me ask.. "What were you thinking?.. These are enough trouble before they past this bill, now it seems endless. Less police to help, so they get shot off all night.

Linda Peck

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

I hope this happens. It is so rude to continue to celebrate with huge noise makers into the night and morning any time at all, holiday or not a holiday. People actually have children, do difficult jobs, and need to sleep at night.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Clearly there has to be a balance, but I think everyone should just have to accept that on the 4th of July there will be fireworks going off until a little later in the night than some would like. The problem, as I see it, is that they've outlined like 30 other days where it's OK to shoot off fireworks at 11pm at night. I think that's pretty unnecessary. Fireworks are pretty much a 4th of July tradition, they are not an Easter or MLK jr. day one.


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

NYD happens at midnight. This is just some folks who are upset they can not control other peoples freedoms for a whole 30 days each year, boo hoo. Sure, sometimes the boom-boom can go on too long but same with some bad thunderstorms. Everything can't be just rosy for you all of the time. Let others enjoy life too.

Ann English

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

How about shooting fireworks off New Year's Eve or the evening of New Year's Day? Nice short days, so the sky gets dark nice and early. Or do the cold temperatures discourage most people from doing it? We don't get grass fires in the winter.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 6:18 p.m.

This does nothing if not enforced. I had fireworks almost every day, randomly in the middle of the night to middle of the day, all summer from memorial day until after Labor Day. They apparently ran out. This ordinance does nothing if not enforced which last year it was not. And guess who had the joy of picking up hundreds of bottle rocket debris in the yard all year? Thanks. Everyone enjoys a good showing now and again, please keep it that way.

Ann English

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

I wonder if dogs can be taught to retrieve bottle rocket debris? I once knew of a German shepherd who chose of her own accord to retrieve shells from firecrackers shot off; she wasn't one bit afraid of the firecrackers, unlike other dogs.