I've enjoyed fireworks my whole life. Growing up in Chicago, whenever a White Sox slugger hit a home run, the exploding scoreboard shot them in to the sky, day and night.

ThinkStock; BRPH

(Always felt sorry for the neighbors.) But even though I love fireworks, I get very nervous with private use of fireworks. First, being a parent, when the kids were younger, they were (and still are) fearless. But your perspective changes when your flesh and blood is lighting these mini bombs; All the things that can go wrong go through your mind over and over again as they repeat the process.

Secondly, take a look around you. Driving to work, I took a look at some lawns. They're yellower than they were a month ago. It's been a dry spring and early summer, in other words, conditions are dry. That creates very dangerous conditions, as this Detroit video shows.

So exactly what are the rules and laws about buying and shooting off your own fireworks. The basics are you have to be at least 18 to purchase fireworks. The people selling them have to be certified by the state. You can't shoot them on public property, school grounds, or with the permission of the owner on private property.

Beyond that, common sense comes into play. On a Metro Detroit parents' website, former Shelby Township fire marshal Edward Vojtush "recommends that kids under the age of 12 not be permitted to use fireworks – even sparklers – without adult supervision".

The same website says the state recommends:

  • Stand far away and back off after lighting.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions, and only buy fireworks from authorized retailers.
  • Do not get risky: Don’t make your own fireworks, point or throw them at people, or carry them in your pockets.
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose on hand in case of a fire. Then, when the fireworks stop burning, dunk them in the water bucket or spray with a hose.
  • Never try to relight a firework that didn’t ignite the first time, or reuse duds. Wait 15-20 minutes, and then put them in the water bucket or spray with the hose.

The fireworks laws were lessened in 2011, but some would like to see the regulations become tighter again.