What to know about Michigan’s fireworks laws ahead of holiday weekend

Police say they don’t want to write tickets for anybody shooting off fireworks after hours

With the July 4 holiday weekend upon us, your neighbors are probably lighting off fireworks, and it’s perfectly legal. Each year police departments are flooded with callers complaining about people lighting off fireworks. So what exactly are the rules?

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – With the July 4 holiday weekend upon us, your neighbors are probably lighting off fireworks, and it’s perfectly legal.

Each year police departments are flooded with callers complaining about people lighting off fireworks.

So what exactly are the rules?

For starters, state law trumps local ordinances regarding fireworks, and that’s where much of the confusion starts. Your community may have a no fireworks ordinance but state law that allows for them on certain days of the year trumps that.

For some, the thrill of seeing a professional display is where it’s at.

“This is trip number two of three,” said a man buying fireworks. “There will be one more tomorrow.”

For others, it’s all about the backyard or the neighborhood block party, which Michigan state law says is perfectly permissible.

“The excitement of it just and the awe of it going up,” said Ed Vermersh.

From June 29 through July 4 (it extends to July 5 if it falls on a Friday or a Saturday), and the timing is clear from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. for residents to light fireworks.

“Usually, we’re one and starting to clean up by then,” Vermersh said.

Read: Dry weather conditions spark fears over fireworks in Metro Detroit

But not everybody adheres to the rules, and local police departments will be getting deluged by calls.

“There’s going to be fireworks going off all weekend long, and we have extra patrols specifically for that, and we’re going to be busy,” said Shelby Township Police Captain Patrick Barnard.

The thing to remember, no matter what your community’s local ordinance says about fireworks on every other day of the year, state law overrides it 12 to 13 days out of the year around holidays.

“I actually didn’t know that,” said another man buying fireworks.

Another rule one must remember to follow is that you must light them off on your private property.

“You cannot set off fireworks anywhere except for private property that you have the permission of the owner to be on,” Barnard said. “You can’t do it in church parking lots, and you can’t do it in the street. You can’t do it on the sidewalk either. It has to be private property.”

Police say they don’t want to be writing tickets for anybody shooting off fireworks after hours, so they want everybody to be good neighbors to one another.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.