State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, of Richmond, introduced a pair of bipartisan proposals that would bring much-needed reforms to address ongoing safety concerns within Michigan’s current fireworks laws.
Yaroch said his office has received complaints from constituents about people lighting off fireworks too close to structures. Yaroch’s first measure, House Bill 5004, would make it illegal for people to ignite fireworks within 200 feet of property they do not own, unless given permission from the owner or lessee of the property.
“There’s a lot of frustration regarding fireworks,” Yaroch said. “In Macomb County and across Southeast Michigan, the population density is much greater than areas in Northern Michigan. This has resulted in many complaints about fireworks being ignited too close to homes and other structures. For the safety of the community and people’s property, this is a reasonable solution that will go a long way for every neighborhood across the state.”
Yaroch’s second measure, House Bill 5005, would allow local units of government to enact an ordinance regulating the sale, use, ignition and release of sky lanterns.
Sky lanterns are unmanned, self-contained luminary devices that use an open flame and paper balloon to become airborne.
“Although sky lanterns look nice in the night sky, the reality is they drift away and can land somewhere when they are still burning,” Yaroch said. “There’s no predicting where they land, be it a farm field, power line, lake or home. And depending on where one lands, it could pose a safety hazard. We want to give local governments the option to regulate these devices how they see fit.”
Both pieces of legislation are in the House Regulatory Reform Committee for further consideration.