Know fireworks safety, laws on usage in your area before New Year’s Eve celebrations
When it comes to fireworks, it’s a best practice to leave it to the experts. But Upstate residents planning to make consumer fireworks part of their New Year’s Eve celebrations are urged to take appropriate safety precautions and to be aware of ordinances in their local communities concerning the use of fireworks.
For example, fireworks are not permitted in the cities of Anderson and Spartanburg, but they are allowed on private property in the cities of Greer and Easley. In the City of Greenville, an ordinance passed in November 2019 prohibits the discharge of fireworks in the city limits after 12:30 a.m. on January 1. Many counties, including Anderson and Greenville, do allow the use of fireworks so check with your local fire officials on laws on usage in your area.
The National Fire Protection Association and the National Safety Council offer these safety tips for consumer fireworks use:
- 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.)
The safety of your pets also is important around fireworks:
- 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.