Celebrating the 4th of July legally and safely

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GENESEE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (06/25/19) -- You probably have heard that Michigan's fireworks law has changed. Under the new law, fireworks can be set off on certain days prior to and including major holidays, but that isn't the case everywhere.

"Most of your municipalities are probably going at a local ordinance which is not the state law. That's not to say they can't be cited. Right now we want everyone to do it safely and do it within the limits," said Genesee Township Police Chief John Mullaly.

Genesee Township is one of those communities that is operating under the old law, meaning fireworks can be set off the day before, day of, and day after a holiday.

"Our practice is right now, if it's not within the acceptable limits, the time periods, or things like that, we give an initial warning the first time, if we have to go back to the same address repeatedly, we're going to cite them," Mullaly said.

And just because it's legal to set fireworks off,does not necessarily mean it's safe to do so.

If somebody intentionally lights off fireworks and causes somebody's house to catch on fire, or their yard to catch on fire, or their field to catch on fire, Mullaly says you're liable. He recommends taking certain precautions before taking lighter to wick.

"They need to have a hose out there. they should have a pale in case they drop something where they can put it in, they have to be cognizant of where they're shooting it off," he said.

Mullaly reminds people police are not out to ruin people's nights and make money.

"We write tickets as a last resort to enforce the law as well as public safety."

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