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Fireworks safety tips for your July 4 celebration

With many public fireworks displays canceled across the Upstate due to Covid-19, many area residents are sure to celebrate Independence Day with personal fireworks at home.

It’s a best practice to leave fireworks to the experts, but area residents who choose to use consumer fireworks are urged by local fire officials to take the appropriate safety precautions and to be aware of ordinances in their local communities concerning the use of fireworks. For example, fireworks are illegal in the City of Spartanburg and the City of Anderson. They are allowed in Anderson and Greenville counties.

“If residents choose to use fireworks, we want to make sure they make informed purchases and take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Greenville City Fire Marshal Tristan Johnson. “We also want to remind residents of the City’s fireworks ordinance.”

In the City of Greenville, fireworks are allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., except on July 4 and New Year’s Day, when they are allowed until 12:30 a.m.

For information on the use of fireworks in your area, check with your local fire officials.

In South Carolina, state law prohibits making, keeping, carrying or owning the following fireworks:

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  • “Ground salutes” or “cherry bombs”
  • M-80’s
  • T-N-T salutes
  • Bulldog salutes

To prevent personal injury or property damage, the National Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association offer these safety tips for those using consumer fireworks for their Fourth of July celebrations:

  • Follow manufacturer instructions on how to properly handle fireworks.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at another person or any property.
  • Children should not be allowed to handle fireworks. Make sure your children and pets are at a safe distance. Never leave children unattended.
  • Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees and can quickly ignite clothing. Consider using safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
  • Never place any part of your body above or in front of a fireworks device while lighting the fuse.
  • Don’t light fireworks indoors.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or smoke while lighting fireworks.
  • Never reignite a firework that has not ignited or try to reignite a used firework.
  • Before throwing away your used fireworks, completely soak them in water.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Only light fireworks one at a time then move back quickly after lighting each firework.
  • Never transport fireworks by carrying them in your pocket.
  • Be sure to keep a water supply close by in case of a firework accident. A garden hose is also helpful.
  • Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Wear safety equipment when shooting fireworks (gloves, goggles, etc.)

Don’t forget the safety of your pets:

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

And for those looking for other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, the Greenville City Fire Department has compiled these fun, creative alternatives to fireworks:

  • Use glow sticks instead of sparklers.
  • Pass out red, white and blue silly string.
  • Look for confetti poppers and colorful streamers at a party supply store.
  • Throw a birthday party for the USA, including a cake.
  • Set up a screen in the backyard and have a family movie night.
  • Make a patriotic craft as a family.

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