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Fireworks safety tips for your New Year’s Eve celebration

In the Upstate, New Year’s Eve celebrations are synonymous with fireworks.

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. In the City of Greenville, an ordinance passed in November prohibits the discharge of fireworks in the city limits after 12:30 a.m. on January 1. The ordinance does not prohibit the use of sparklers or similar pyrotechnic products, which generate no appreciable noise.

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

The National Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association offer these safety tips for those using consumer fireworks for their New Year’s Eve 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.)

And don’t forget the safety of your pets:

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  • 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.

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