Fireworks put smiles on the faces of kids and adults alike. But some residents don’t like excess noise. We all should obey laws and regulations that limit when and where fireworks, noisy or not, can be enjoyed. It’s the neighborly thing to do.
Some of our neighbors are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder. Young children can be frightened by unexpected booms. Many dogs fear even distant firecracker pops. Designated time limits on fireworks use help everyone plan ahead and be prepared.
Another type of device that some classify as a firework is the sky lantern, a small paper hot air balloon powered by an open flame, usually a candle. These devices are a silent counterpoint to noisy firecrackers. But they carry the real danger of starting fires back on earth.
Once released, a sky lantern moves at the whim of the winds. Sometimes they land while still aflame.
The Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs issued a position statement in 2015 calling for the banning of sale and use of sky lanterns in Michigan. Bills to prohibit their sale were introduced in the Michigan Legislature in both 2015 and 2017, but stalled. At least 29 other states, including Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio, have made sky lanterns illegal.
A Michigan law that took effect in 2018 says consumer fireworks are legal everywhere in the state June 29 through July 5 this year, from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. — and local governments are forbidden to restrict their use within those time frames.
Enjoy your fireworks. Use them safely. Respect state and local time limits. And please take care that you don’t set the world on fire.