July 4th firework safety tips

From the New Hanover County Fire Service:

As you prepare for the 4th of July holiday please keep safety in mind. The best way to keep your family safe is to not use any fireworks at home. Public firework displays are being held in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties and citizens and visitors are encouraged to attend these events.

If you do plan to use fireworks at home please follow these simple tips:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. The National Fire Protection Agency reports injuries to children 10-14 are twice as high as the general population.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a water hose, and/or a fire extinguisher close in case of fire.
  • Light one firework at a time and then move away.
  • After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

Please remember only fireworks purchased in North Carolina are legal to be discharged. Most fireworks purchased in South Carolina are illegal to use and possess in the sate of North Carolina and maybe subject to civil and or criminal charges.

Often parents offer small children sparklers, thinking they are a safe alternative. Sparklers reach over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause third degree burns.

Remember these tips when letting children play with sparklers:

  • Never hold a child in your arms while using a sparkler.
  • Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Sparkler wire stays hot long after flames have gone out. Be sure to place used sparklers in a bucket of water.
  • Stand at least 6 feet from another person while using sparklers.
  • Never wave sparklers or run while holding them.