State Fire Marshal Offers Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Tips

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The long Fourth of July holiday is this weekend, and the South Carolina State Fire Marshal is reminding citizens to put safety first when participating in any fireworks activities.

“Independence Day is a time to reflect on our country’s history. Many choose to watch the ‘rockets’ red glare’ by using consumer fireworks or attending a professional fireworks display,” State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones said. “Every celebration should begin and end safely. We don’t want a happy occasion to turn into an emergency room visit.”

South Carolina law prohibits fireworks from being sold to anyone younger than 16 years old. For those choosing to use consumer fireworks, the State Fire Marshal suggests these safety tips:

  • Observe local laws. If unsure, whether it is legal to use fireworks, check with local officials.
  • Observe local weather conditions. Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.

Dry weather can make it easier for fireworks to start a fire.

  • Buy from permitted fireworks retailers.
  • Use common sense. Always read and follow the directions on each firework.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
  • Ensure people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance.
  • Throw away the duds. Put used fireworks in a bucket of water; keep a garden hose on hand.

Never:

  • Carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Give fireworks to small children. Sparklers, for example, burn at 2,000 degrees.
  • Point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
  • Re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

“Across the state, there are also permitted professional fireworks displays available to South Carolinians to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday,” Jones said. “Residents can consult their local fire officials for displays in their area.” 

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