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Friendly Reminder: Township Postpones July 4th Fireworks Display

Post Date:07/01/2020 9:00 AM

Fireworks

NOTE: Postponement of fireworks and Celebrate Meridian event were announced earlier this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic; however, now that July 4th is just around the corner, this communication is issued as a friendly reminder. The Meridian Township Fireworks display has been postponed until later this year. “Approximately 15,000 people gather for our fireworks display each summer,” stated LuAnn Maisner, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Based on CDC guidelines and Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders, we are unable and unwilling to host an event that encourages large public gatherings."

As the summer season is upon us and the Independence Day holiday is quickly approaching, Meridian Township would like to remind residents to follow the rules and
regulations of using fireworks. The Meridian Township Fire Inspector Tavis Millerov stated that, "Consumer Fireworks can be used from June 29th through July 4th from 11:00 am until 11:45 pm each day. You must be on your own property to use them, and not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.  Sky Lanterns are prohibited."

In 2018, the State of Michigan amended the 2011 Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, which modifies the standards under which local municipalities may regulate the ignition, discharge and use of consumer fireworks. The Township Board amended its existing fireworks safety ordinance on April 16, 2019 to meet the requirements of the amended Michigan Fireworks Safety Act.

Amendments to the Township’s Fireworks Ordinance included:

• Reducing the number of days and hours a person may ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks to the following dates beginning at 11:00 am on each day: December 31st until 1:00 am on January 1st, Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day until 11:45 pm on each of those days, June 29th to July 4th until 11:45 pm on each of those days, July 5th – if that date is a Friday or Saturday – until 11:45 pm and the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day until 11:45 pm on each of those days.
• Prohibits the use of fireworks on public property, school property, church property or any other person’s property without permission.
• Prohibits the use of fireworks under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance.
• Prohibits the possession of fireworks by a minor.
• Enables the use of low-impact fireworks and novelty fireworks year-round between the hours of 8:00 am and 11:00 pm.
• Enables the Township’s Fire Department to determine if dangerous or emergency conditions exist and to prohibit the ignition, discharge or use of any firework.
• Enforces a no-burning restriction if environmental concerns based on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire division’s criteria are elevated to “extreme”, or to “very high” for 72 consecutive hours.

If an enforcing official has determined that a violation of this ordinance has occurred, the official may seize the fireworks as evidence of such violation. Any person who is found responsible or admits responsibility shall be subject to a civil fine.

Here are some safety tips to consider when handling fireworks:

• Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
• Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
• Never allow children to handle fireworks.
• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
• Never light them indoors.
• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
• Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
• Never ignite devices in a container.
• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
• Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.

Safety information provided from the National Council on Fireworks Safety. To read the full Fireworks Ordinance, visit the Code of Ordinances section of the Meridian Township website. Contact Fire Inspector Tavis Millerov with questions at 517.853.4720 or millerov@meridian.mi.us

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