Livingston County residents are encouraged to celebrate safely this 4th of July holiday period.

In 2011, a state law went into effect allowing the sale of larger fireworks that were previously banned. It permits fireworks to be discharged the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday. Fireworks can only be discharged on a person’s private property, so use of public, school, church, or anyone else’s property is prohibited without permission.

The Cities of Howell and Brighton as well as the Villages of Pinckney and Fowlerville all have ordinances on the books prohibiting the discharge of fireworks outside of the holidays specifically included in the law. Fireworks complaints should be directed to local police agencies, although enforcement can be tricky due to noise and actually witnessing an incident.

Any packaged firework marked as a 1.4g is legal for sale in Michigan. However, Brighton Fire Chief Mike O’Brian says many complaints are actually tied to people using illegal fireworks. He tells WHMI the general rule of thumb is that if you’re shooting fireworks from your property, then it must land on your property. O’Brian notes there are certain time frames to abide by for those who choose to discharge fireworks but it’s also important to keep safe distances from structures and have water sources handy. Overall, he says overall advice is to leave fireworks to the professionals and enjoy local displays. On Wednesday, Fowlerville will host its annual parade and fireworks. The parade starts promptly at 7pm with the fireworks starting at approximately 10:15pm.

For those seeking a quieter Fourth of July experience, the MDNR and the Michigan Veterans Affairs are again promoting Fireworks-Free Fourth of July at several state parks. It offers Veterans, pet owners and other visitors the opportunity to camp farther away from traditional community firework displays July 2nd through 6th. Locally, the Brighton State Recreation Area and Bishop Lake Campground is participating. (JM)