Before they make it onto your block, there are several hoops retailers have to jump through before selling their first firecrackers.
It’s a process that begins in Lansing, and while it doesn’t come cheap, some of the money does go to a good cause.
The state is in charge of rule-making for retailers long before they set up shop: an application, site plan, proof of insurance and a $600 permit fee.
“There’s a level of $10 million insurance policy that you have to carry,” said Jason Lambracht, co-owner The Good Stuff Fireworks. “You have to have a state sales tax license [and a] federal felony affidavit license.”
Once the retailer gets approval, either the state or a local, certified fire inspector makes sure the tent is up to code.
There is an incentive for local governments to handle the inspections themselves because if they do, the state sends them a check for $420, 70-percent of that permitting fee.
Beyond that, the six percent ‘fireworks tax’ that’s applied to sales also goes toward local firefighting efforts in the form of funding firefighter training.
Local governments that check sites are only obligated to conduct one inspection, but many inspectors may drop in while the tent is up to make sure the owners remain compliant.