Grand Haven Tribune: Police urge caution when lighting fireworks

Police urge caution when lighting fireworks

Tribune Staff • Jul 3, 2019 at 9:00 AM

As we near the Fourth of July holiday, many people celebrate our nation’s independence by launching fireworks into the sky.

Locally, fireworks are allowed from June 29 to July 5, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11:45 p.m.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety offered the following tips to those lighting off consumer and low-impact fireworks during the upcoming holiday:

— Never allow young children to handle fireworks.

— Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

— Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.

— Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.

— Only use away from people, houses and flammable material.

— Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

— Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.

— Never ignite devices in a container.

— Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.

— Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.

— Keep a bucket of water and fire extinguisher nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.

— Never use illegal or homemade fireworks.

— Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow children to hold sparklers.

— Don’t ignite fireworks in the woods, dunes or other areas of high fire danger.

— Be respectful of your neighbors. Fireworks can cause stress for individuals with PTSD. Also, fireworks often agitate pets, especially dogs.

Law regarding fireworks

The Fireworks Safety Act of 2011 made previously illegal fireworks legal in Michigan. The act also specifies requirements for sale and use of consumer fireworks. The act was amended in 2018, which revised the dates and times when consumer fireworks are allowed.

A revised City of Grand Haven ordinance was adopted with the changes.

Types of fireworks and definitions

— Display fireworks are large explosive fireworks used by commercial pyrotechnic companies for large-scale shows, such as Fourth of July and Coast Guard Festival.

— Consumer fireworks are firecrackers, bottle rockets and similar devices. These were previously considered Class C fireworks and were illegal in Michigan prior to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act. The sale of consumer fireworks to adults (age 18 and older) in Michigan by vendors licensed by the State Fire Marshal’s Office is now allowed through the Consumer Fireworks Certificate program.

— Low-impact fireworks are sparklers, fountains, etc.

— Novelties are snakes, party poppers, snappers, etc., and are not regulated.

When fireworks are allowed in Grand Haven

— New Year’s Eve, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day

— Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day, 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

— June 29 to July 4, 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

— July 5 if on Friday or Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

— Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

Violating these guidelines could result in a municipal civil infraction and a $1,000 fine.

Fourth of July traffic

In anticipation of heavy traffic on Thursday, July 4, the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety has issued the following traffic orders:

— Franklin Avenue will again become “one way” eastbound to accommodate traffic flow following the fireworks. As a result, officers will be at each intersection on Franklin from Harbor Drive to Beacon Boulevard to assist eastbound traffic and any cross traffic. This change in traffic direction will occur at approximately 10 p.m.

— Seventh Street from Franklin north to Beacon Boulevard will be closed at 10 p.m. through approximately midnight to facilitate safe traffic flow at the completion of the fireworks.

— There will be no parking on Franklin from Beacon to Harbor to facilitate an “emergency vehicle only” lane from the downtown area from 6 p.m. July 4 through 2 a.m. July 5.

— Left-hand turns will not be permitted for northbound and southbound traffic on Beacon between Jackson Street and Robbins Road in order to prevent traffic backups from vehicles waiting to make left turns.

— In addition to the above closures, there will be multiple temporary “no parking/tow away” zones in place, which will be adequately marked as such and strictly enforced.

— The drawbridge will not be raised from 10 p.m. July 4 through 2 a.m. July 5.

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