State Fire Marshal Offers Fireworks Safety Tips

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The Fourth of July holiday is just days away, and the South Carolina State Fire Marshal is reminding citizens to think of safety first if participating in any fireworks activities. “Independence Day is a time to celebrate our nation’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. “We don’t want a time of celebration to turn into a time of tragedy. Fireworks can be enjoyed safely. Have fun, but adhere to safety precautions.” 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. Dry weather can make it easier for fireworks to start a fire. • Buy from permitted fireworks retailers. • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. • Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks. • Use common sense. Always read and follow the directions on each firework. • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees. • Ensure people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks. • Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance. • Put used fireworks in a bucket of water; keep a garden hose on hand. Never: • Point or throw fireworks at another person. • Re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks. • Experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks. • Give fireworks to small children. • Carry fireworks in your pocket. • Shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers. • 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 firework displays in their area.”

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