GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- We're just one month away from Fourth of July, but fireworks have already started in West Michigan.
The Grand Rapids Police Department wants to remind people of the legal times for fireworks set by state law and local ordinances.
According to Michigan law, people are only allowed to shoot off fireworks the day before, day of, and day after a national holiday.
“They can do fireworks up until midnight," said Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Catherine Williams. "And they can start back up at 8 a.m., but those are the time requirements of Grand Rapids."
Williams said it's important people make sure the check the ordinances in their area.
“If you live outside the city of Grand Rapids or light off fireworks outside the city, it’s best to check whatever jurisdiction you’re in on their local ordinance.”
Tom Vandermolen Jr. of Grand Rapids said he hears fireworks go off around his neighborhood constantly this time of year, especially as Fourth of July gets closer. He said it happens at times that are not always legal.
"It’s constant," said Vandermolen. "A couple times a day sometimes even during the day, before dinner time 5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m."
Williams said violating the law could mean hundreds of dollars in fines in Grand Rapids.
“It is a municipal civil infraction and that fine does compound every time you get that infraction," said Williams.
GS Fireworks owner David Jewell said fireworks can be a great part of celebrating a holiday if handled properly, but it's important to follow the law.
"Out of respect for others, you got to follow the law, otherwise people are going to continue to complain, and we don’t want the rules or laws to change," said Jewell.
GRPD receives hundreds of calls to their 911 center complaining about the nuisance of fireworks, even during legal times.
"Although I understand people have to sleep, it’s a city ordinance," said Williams.
Vandermolen said before someone lights off fireworks during a random day of the week, people should think of their neighbors. It could affect them more than just irritation.
“At least if you’re going to do it early, check with your immediate neighbors, make sure none of them are veterans with PTSD because that’s a pretty serious issue," said Vandermolen. "Half of these things are like a quarter sticks of dynamite. You’re blowing them up in your driveway, without thinking if their dogs, veterans or older people, it could really scare them.”
For more information on firework laws in Michigan, click here.