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Michigan's Fire Marshal says take "extreme caution" with fireworks due to dry conditions

Jul 1, 2016

For most of Michigan, this has been one of the driest starts to summer we’ve seen in a long time.

With Fourth of July coming up, there are concerns about fires in these dry conditions.

"We've made a decision at this point not to issue a burn ban or a fireworks ban, but we are monitoring the situation very closely and it's a day-to-day assessment."

For this reason, Julie Secontine, the State Fire Marshal, has been considering banning fireworks this Fourth of July.

As of now, no burn ban or fireworks ban has been issued.

“But we are monitoring the situation very closely and it’s a day-to-day assessment,” Secontine said.

Fireworks can already be dangerous, but this dry spell has upped the ante.

“It’s a very serious concern,” Secontine said. “I cannot stress safety enough. Safety is something that people generally make fun of, but this is a very serious situation in Michigan with the dry weather and we are monitoring the situation closely.”

Suggested precautions

If located in an area where a local burn ban or fireworks ban has not been issued, Secontine said it’s crucial to take “extreme caution” when lighting fireworks, a grill or campfire.

“The area in which you ignite fireworks has to be clear of all debris, people and pets,” Secontine said. “Most injuries occur to bystanders, so you want to make sure the area in which you ignite is clear.”

She also recommends igniting fireworks only from a hard surface, like a driveway, and having water at-the-ready.

“You need to make sure you have a bucket of water, a hose that’s ready and charged, maybe even wet the area down,” Secontine said. “But with consumer-grade fireworks, the biggest problem is they’re airborne and we never know where they’re going to land or where the sparks from them are going to land.”

For more safety tips, like what to do if your fireworks don’t explode, listen above.

GUEST

Julie Secontine, State Fire Marshal