Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 2, 2013

Contact: Special Agent Donald Dawkins

Public Information Officer, ATF

(313) 407-6018 Cell

ATF Encourages Safety This Fourth of July

Citizens Reminded of Dangers of Fireworks

DETROIT, MICH. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is encouraging citizens to be safe with fireworks use this Fourth of July. Illegal or improper use of fireworks can cause severe injuries or death.

Consumers are reminded that illegal explosive devices are not fireworks. Users risk injury, disfigurement, or death by manufacturing or using them. Illegal explosives devices commonly referred to as M-80's, quarter sticks, or cherry bombs often come in plain brown, red, silver or white wrappers, with no identifying marks. The manufacturers of these illegal explosive devices do not follow any quality or safety standards, which makes the devices extremely dangerous. They can be highly unstable and heat, shock or pressure can trigger accidental detonation. Additionally, the sale or purchase of these types of explosive devices is illegal.

"Each year across the State of Michigan needless injuries are caused by the misuse of fireworks and improper use and handling of illegal explosives. We encourage the citizens of Michigan to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday but do it in a safe and responsible manner, remember fireworks pose a serious fire and burn hazard because they are so unpredictable, please be safe and follow all safety precautions," said Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary.

ATF does not regulate the use of consumer fireworks, however it should be noted that persons manufacturing such materials generally require at least an ATF permit to acquire explosive material used in the manufacture of consumer fireworks.

Federal law prohibits the manufacture, possession, and use of illegal explosives devices to include M–80s, M–1000s, silver salutes and cherry bombs. Mail order kits designed to build these fireworks also are federally prohibited. The manufacture, sale and receipt of these illegal explosives devices can result in federal felony and/or misdemeanor charges.

To increase safety during personal use of legal fireworks:

  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Never allow children to play with fireworks of any kind.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Wear protective clothing, including eyewear.
  • Only light devices on smooth, flat surfaces away from residential areas, dry leaves and flammable materials.
  • Always keep a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of malfunction.
  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

If you know of large, professional–grade fireworks or any explosive devices being sold illegally, please contact the ATF at 1–888 ATF–BOMB, (1–888–283–2662) .

More information on ATF can be found at