Skubick: State fire marshal would vote to repeal Michigan’s fireworks law

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – For the first time the State Fire Marshal says she would vote to repeal the state’s four year old fireworks law if the data showed it was a horrible safety concern for the state.

The state fire marshal is being told by a majority of fire chief around the state that the four-year-old fireworks law needs to be repealed but the fire marshal wants hard data before she joins in.

Fire Marshal Julie Secontine was appointed by the governor four months ago and she heard about some local officials who would love to have the power to opt out of the fireworks law.

Does she agree they should have that veto power? She seems to say yes but then back tracks. “In my opinion? Well, we are a home rule state.” When asked if that was a “yes” she laughed and said “I don’t have an opinion on that.”

When she was pressed for an opinion if locals should have veto power over the impact of the law, Secontine said “ah, my opinion is yes.”

But she confesses she is not sure it is her role to to talk about giving the locals authority over state laws.

The state firefighting community is divided on repealing the law with chiefs wanting repeal but rank and file folks such as fire inspectors don’t.

Here’s her position. “My personal convictions are if the data bore out that this was a legitimate and horrible due safety concern for the state than I’d voted to repeal it, but I’m not there yet.”

As families head out this holiday weekend with fireworks in the car, there is this advice. “You need to have a hose ready by your group,” said Secontine. “Something that is fun to do is to appoint one adult the fireman. That person is the keeper of the water and the keeper of the hose.”

The fire marshal is preparing a report for the governor on all this that she and the staff will compile this coming winter.

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