Igniting & Using Fireworks
Where Can Consumer Fireworks Be Used?
Consumer fireworks may not be used on public property, school property, church property, or the property of another without express permission from the owner. This ban includes hotels, motels, apartments, condominium properties, and any property not owned by the person who wishes to use consumer fireworks. Other examples would include mobile home parks, restaurants, vacant land, and utility corridors.
This ban applies all 365 days each year and there are no holiday exceptions.
The City’s ordinance also prohibits the use of all fireworks on public roads, sidewalks, and rights-of-way areas.
When Can Consumer Fireworks Be Ignited, Discharged, and Used?
The state law prohibits the City from enacting an ordinance to regulate the use of consumer fireworks on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday. This means that everyone has the right to use the types of fireworks that discharge into the air for 30 days each year.
The national holidays are:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
- Washington’s Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
The City has enacted an ordinance that prohibits the use of consumer fireworks for the remaining 335 days each year. Ground level fireworks (low-impact and novelty fireworks) may still be used so long as the rules in the ordinance are followed.
In June 2013, the Michigan Legislature amended the statute regulating consumer fireworks to allow cities with a population in excess of 50,000 residents to prohibit discharge between 12 Midnight (or 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve) and 8 a.m. The City of Sterling Heights will enforce its regulations consistent with state law, as amended.
What Are the Restrictions On How Fireworks Are Ignited, Discharged, and Used?
- Consumer fireworks and low-impact fireworks may not be ignited, discharged, or used by anyone who is under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance.
- The City’s ordinance requires a user of fireworks to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Fireworks also may not be used in a manner which is likely to, or does, cause harm to another or to property, and they may not be used in a manner that violates other City ordinances such as littering, disturbing the peace, or violating the City’s noise and nuisance ordinances.
- The City’s ordinance requires ignition of fireworks and novelties to comply with manufacturer’s directions and prohibits ignition by the use of anything except a match, a lighter, or a punk. No other ignitions sources are permitted when igniting fireworks and novelties in the City.
- The City’s ordinance also imposes penalties on any person who aids, abets, perpetuates, participates in, or otherwise promotes actions of another that are in violation of the City’s ordinance requirements and restrictions.
- Police and fire officials are permitted to confiscate fireworks and fireworks paraphernalia involved in any violation of the City’s ordinance.
- Minors may not ignite consumer fireworks.
Discharging Fireworks Restrictions
The City’s ordinance requires that the discharge of fireworks and novelties comply with manufacturer’s directions and prohibits discharging consumer fireworks in the following ways:
- At any person, vehicle, or conveyance
- During wind speeds exceeding 10 miles per hour
- From any location not at ground level
- From any surface that is not flat and level
- From within any container or object that could impede the aerial progress of the firework or cause a fire or explosion
- Within 20 feet of a property line
- Within 25 feet of a building
- Within 50 feet of a flame or flammable surface
- Within 500 feet of a gas station
- Within any enclosed space
- Within any public road or right-of-way
- Within, upon, or from a motor vehicle