Regulations for fireworks; Businesses ready to sell - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Regulations for fireworks; Businesses ready to sell

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The Fourth of July is only a couple weeks away and folks will be on the hunt for the biggest and brightest fireworks, but don't set them off just yet!

Fireworks laws are different depending on where you live, so it can be pretty confusing to keep up!

In fact, Michigan just signed a law Wednesday that could change how you celebrate the 4th of July.

No matter what the rules are, businesses are ready to sell!

"Big 500 gram grand finale. They really like those. They're really pretty and they go really high," says Tanya May with May Brother Fireworks in South Bend about their inventory.

Ashley Petrass of Crazy Steve's Fireworks in Mishawaka describes their products, "Fountains, sparklers, 3 inch shells, 2 inch shells, large cakes, 500 grams, 200 gram cakes."

There's plenty to choose from, but when can you legally set them off?

In South Bend, people can only shoot off fireworks from June 29th through July 9th between 5pm and 11pm. You have a little more time on the Fourth of July,  from 10am til Midnight.

The rules are similar for both Elkhart and Mishawaka, June 29th-July3rd and July 5th-9th, you can shoot off fireworks from 5:00pm until two hours after sunset, from 10:00am- midnight on July 4th.

It's illegal in South Bend and Mishawaka to set off fireworks in city parks or streets.

Across the border in Michigan, rules are a little less strict.

"Up until last year, anything that flew or exploded weren't allowed, but that's since changed so a lot of them are out and people are using those more," says Sergeant Ryan Schoonveld with Michigan State Police.

And that means a lot more noise, late into the night.
But there's this news, the Lieutenant Governor signed a bill Wednesday giving local governments in Michigan power to restrict the use of fireworks on the day before, during, and after the holiday.

Until they do, "Be respectful of your neighbors if you're living in town and try not to do too much that's making a lot of noise," says Schoonveld.

Fireworks stores say so far they haven't been too busy, but the rush usually comes in closer to the holiday.
After a drought and burn bans last year, businesses are optimistic this year.

"Hopefully they know we've had a lot more rain than last year and be ready to buys some fireworks," says Petrass.

May says, "Last year it was hot and dry and things weren't real good. But this year is really good. We've had a lot of rain, it's gonna be a really good year for fireworks."

Of course, we need to think about safety when lighting fireworks.

Michigan State Police says to look out for dry brush that may be near where you're setting off fireworks.

Make sure to keep either a bucket of water or hose nearby in case a fire does start.

Never light a firework in your hand, make sure it's on a stable surface.

Keep a close eye on your kids. Fireworks should only be set off under adult supervision.

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