City fired up about fireworks law

The echo of fireworks over Grand Haven may be fading away, but the subject is still sparking a debate on City Council.
Alex Doty
Aug 7, 2014


“We’ve really had a lot of issues in the neighborhoods,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “It’s a safety issue, and an annoyance issue because houses are so close together.”

Council recently discussed sending a resolution to the state Legislature that would ask for amendments to the current Michigan law that took effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Michigan law states local governments can restrict fireworks use to days before, during and after 10 specified national holidays. There are also time constraints for their use: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., and 8 a.m. to midnight in more populated counties.

Many local communities follow the regulations allowed by the state, with Grand Haven additionally allowing consumer fireworks to be launched on the second Saturday of the Coast Guard Festival.

Grand Haven officials reported the use of fireworks by citizens in the city was excessive during the July 4 weekend and this past Coast Guard Festival week.

“It started on the Monday or Tuesday of Coast Guard Festival,” McCaleb said. “They were shooting off all over our neighborhood.”

McCaleb found fireworks parts in her yard, and noted that there are no boundaries since sound and debris can travel from one community to another.

The mayor also called the fireworks law another example of an unfunded mandate from the state.

“The state makes the money and we’ve got to pay our people to enforce the rules,” she said. “It’s one more thing we didn’t have to do before that we do now.”

To combat the problem, city officials hope to send a message that more needs to be done.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Fireworks has been around for as long as i remember and it always will be, don't matter what law you have the book,s, but if they are not enforced, nothing will happen, further more, you allow vender,s on the highway selling firework,s, then you have the issue, you invite people from all over the USA to come to our Coast Guard City for their vacation,s and with them they bring illegal fireworks from out of state, how are you going to stop that, border patrol, July 4th was really noisy, but the Coast Guard Festival wasnt to bad


It is only a few times a years. Why the big fuss? Bet you its only a vey few who complain.


Well, I would like to be counted as one of the few - We live in the city and it just is not safe to be lighting off fireworks that travel through the air and into opposing neighbor yards, pool, roofs etc.. - you cannot control them once lit. The noise that comes from lighting them off should fall under the city noise ordinance - no music outside after 10pm - no firework noise after 10pm - and the ones that fly through the air should be illegal once again. Just our thoughts from our home in the city of GH..


I agree with you. I live in village green & we aren't allowed to set fireworks off because of how close the houses are & the trees, but that doesn't stop people across robbins rd from setting them off, they could come across the street & do as much damage as if I set my own off. I don't mind fireworks but the noise just gets annoying, especially until 1 in the morning, when I'm trying to sleep. I'm not even old & the noise bugs me :-/


I do to Hannah, i live on the north side, where all the vacation rental,s have been popping up like crazy and with it you get the out of towner,s how do you tell them ?


It is the few who abuse the law, but practically and logically fireworks that go off in the air over other peoples houses should not be allowed in the City, or Village. Strange that some municipalities has ordinances that prohibited the burning of leaves, or bushes in your yard. But I guess the risk of fires from fireworks going off in the middle of the night, over your house, is no problem?


No matter how many laws are enacted, there will always be people who will bring in and shoot fireworks, legal or illegal. Unless officers actually witness illegal fireworks, it is nearly impossible to do much about them. This is why the law in Michigan and many other states was changed. What it takes is training and responsibility. I have legally shot fireworks for about 50 years, including class B public displays and no one was injured and no damaged caused. The periods for legal use of class C fireworks is very limited. My advice is to relax, get a life, sit back and enjoy them.


I urge GH Township to join the city in challenging the crazy fireworks law that was passed by our illustrious state legislature (haha). Golden: it only takes one time for an accident. Do I need to hose down my roof every time my fireworks-happy neighbor decides to 'put on a show'. Fireworks are dangerous, and every effort to eliminate them has my support. Sure, you're not going to get everyone who breaks the law, but it will definitely reduce the obnoxious noise and it will also reduce the suffering of countless dogs. Ban Fireworks!


Did you talk to this neighbor?

I as someone who holds a special needs show every year have yet to have one person ever come talk to any of us over a unresolved complaint. I am always happy to do all I can to make the people in my area comfortable with our show. From preventative measures to cleaning up all debris by hand. From anyone who ever asked. Then again I've never set them off on days I shouldn't or excessively late either. That bugs even me.


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