Sparklers, roman candles, and firecrackers are a traditional part of Independence Day and Fourth of July gatherings and celebrations.
South Carolina has fairly relaxed laws when it comes to fireworks, but some are still illegal in the Palmetto State. Things like Cherry Bombs and M-80s that blast into the sky are not legal, nor or any small rockets that are less than 3 inches long and ½ inch in diameter.
Helpful Fireworks Safety Tips
But, just because it’s legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Fireworks are also dangerous explosives that cause untold amounts of property damage. Even worse, they lead to accidents requiring nearly 13,000 emergency room visits each year in the U.S.
If you’re going to celebrate this Fourth of July with some fireworks, here are some tips to avoid fireworks accidents and injuries:
- Purchase your fireworks from reliable sources. In South Carolina, it is unlawful to purchase fireworks from a canopy, tent, automobile, or malleable structure.
- Read the instructions carefully before using fireworks.
- Fireworks should only be used by responsible adults. You must be at least 16 years old to purchase fireworks in South Carolina.
- Only use fireworks outside and away from groups of people, vehicles, and buildings.
- Avoid mixing alcohol and fireworks.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing while lighting fireworks.
- Wear safety goggles or glasses when working with fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time and then quickly move away from the object.
- Don’t lean directly over a firework when lighting the fuse.
- Never point a firework at another person or animal.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a garden hose nearby.
- Never mess around with a “dud” firework. Don’t try to relight it or create a new fuse. If an item doesn’t work, wait 20 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water.
- Avoid carrying fireworks in a backpack or your pocket.
- Don’t shoot fireworks into glass or metal containers.
- Don’t modify fireworks or make your own at home.
- Always safely dispose of fireworks by wetting them down after use and placing them in a metal trash can.
- Report any unsafe or illegal fireworks to local authorities.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to take advantage of a professional and licensed fireworks show. But, if you do decide to buy personal fireworks, celebrate legally and safely.
If someone is injured using fireworks or simply as an innocent bystander, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Burns, eye injuries, and lacerations from fireworks accidents can be severe and painful.
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, MedTrust is the provider of choice for non-emergency ambulance services throughout South Carolina, Georgia, and parts of North Florida. We are a mobile healthcare provider that focuses on serving hospital systems with 24/7 ambulance services with the goal of improving patient outcomes.
Contact us to learn more about partnering with MedTrust or joining our team of highly-qualified EMTs.