Fireworks, burning ban issued in Heights; warnings in Dearborn, Melvindale

Due to the danger from dry conditions, Dearborn Heights has issued a ban on fireworks and open burning until further notice. While not issuing a ban, Dearborn and Melvindale residents were warned against fireworks use.

Dearborn Heights officials have expressed concern over the possibility of grass and structure fires that could result from both fireworks and open burning, and have exercised their authority to issue the ban.

Fireworks can easily catch dry brush and grass on fire, Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray said, and the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources has designated southeastern Michigan as being in “extreme fire danger.”

“It truly is an unfortunate situation” Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko said, “but under these extreme conditions, we must place the safety of people and property over entertainment. That is why we are issuing a complete ban on all fireworks and open fires in the city.”

Paletko confirmed the ban will remain in effect until further notice, but city will continue to monitor the conditions and lift the ban once the dangerous condition is abated.

Dearborn and Melvindale residents who choose to use fireworks are liable for personal injury, property damage and fires caused by their fireworks.

Fireworks use in Dearborn and Melvindale is only allowed the day before, day of and day after a federal holiday. For the Fourth of July, that means Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. No fireworks are allowed midnight to 8 a.m.

Violating these laws is a civil infraction, punishable by fines of up to $500.

Dearborn residents are encouraged to call 313-943-3030 to anonymously report unsafe or illegal activity in their neighborhood, or to call 9-1-1 if there is a dangerous or emergency situation.

Further direction from Murray

• In the case of a fire, no matter how small, do not delay calling 911.
• A fire extinguisher and hose should be ready in the case of a fire, according to the fire chief.
• Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water to help ensure they are completely extinguished.
• Fireworks cannot be used on public streets, parks or schools.
• Fireworks can only be used on private property, with the permission of the owner. In addition, no one is allowed to ignite or discharge fireworks in any way that would cause them to land on someone else’s private property without the express consent of the property owners.
• You cannot discharge fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
• It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or discharge consumer fireworks.
• Sky lanterns are prohibited.

Police are enforcing all fireworks laws

Dearborn police will be enforcing all fireworks laws, including the date restrictions. Some regulations also apply to the use of low-impact fireworks. Details are outlined in Sec. 14-265 of the Dearborn Code of Ordinances.

In addition to these rules, Dearborn police will still enforce the city’s noise and littering ordinances, within the provisions of the state law, and issue violations when necessary.

Toll of fireworks

Every year, thousands of dollars in property damage is reported due to fires caused by the unsafe use of fireworks.

Additionally, it’s estimated that 200 people per day go to the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries during the period surrounding the Fourth of July.

Caution urged for all recreational fires

Due to the dry conditions, Dearborn and Melvindale residents are urged to use caution with all recreational fires, including grills and fire pits.

Fire pits must have screening on all sides, including the top; they must be in the rear yard and 15 feet from the nearest structure; a water hose, fire extinguisher or sand must be nearby at all times; the fire should be supervised by someone 18 years or older; and that person must ensure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

Among the fire safety rules for grilling, never leave a grill unattended, and have a fire extinguisher or garden hose within reach.