Fireworks Safety and Rules
The Portage Department of Public Safety - Fire Division says that Fourth of July fireworks displays are best left to professional and certified pyrotechnicians. However, if you choose to use consumer fireworks, an understanding of the safety rules and local laws is required.
- Residents are urged to pay careful attention while lighting fireworks and to use extreme caution.
- Never hold a lit firework in your hand; light the firework on the ground and back away as soon as it is lit.
- Always keep a safe distance from any structure so that sparks or embers from the firework do not ignite a structure.
- Have a water source available, like a garden hose, in the event a spark or ember ignites nearby combustible material.
Michigan state law requires that consumer-grade fireworks only be ignited on personal property. It is illegal to ignite fireworks on public property (including parks, streets, and sidewalks), school property, church property, or another person’s property without their express permission. State law makes it illegal to discharge fireworks when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
In Portage, the use of fireworks is only allowed on the following days, after 11:00 a.m.:
- December 31 until 1 AM on January 1
- Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day, until 11:45 PM
- June 29 to July 4, until 11:45 PM
- July 5, if it falls on a Friday or Saturday, until 11:45 PM
- Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day, until 11:45 PM
Paper lanterns are extremely dangerous. Releasing an open flame into the air with no control mechanism can result in destructive building or wildland fires. If paper lanterns are used, they should always be tethered so the user maintains control of the lantern the entire time it is lit. Paper lanterns should never be used if there is even a slight breeze. Similar to Consumer Fireworks, paper lanterns are prohibited from being lit on public property.