people watching firework display

The fireworks display is perhaps the most iconic feature of many Fourth of July celebrations. These fiery spectacles remind us of the explosive founding of our country and provide a thrilling backdrop to nationwide celebrations of independence and freedom.

Fireworks are undeniably exciting to watch, but it’s important to remember that the impressive fireworks shows are put on by trained and experienced professionals who know how to handle them safely. 

In the hands of non-professionals, intoxicated individuals, or children, fireworks can cause severe burns and other serious or potentially fatal injuries when mishandled. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 18 fireworks-related fatalities and more than 15,000 firework-related injuries in one recent year. Research from the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians suggests that fireworks-related emergency room visits have been rising for years. 

In this article, Jebaily Law Firm explores the legality and safety of fireworks in South Carolina. Our law firm wants everyone to enjoy the holiday safely. If you plan to celebrate with fireworks this coming Independence Day, you can find more information and helpful safety tips for the whole family here.

Yes, most fireworks are legal throughout most of South Carolina, though specific local ordinances might dictate otherwise. State law does prohibit the use of certain types of fireworks, especially those that are particularly large, loud, or “piercing.” However, as long as you aren’t in a fireworks-prohibited zone, you can legally buy and light most fireworks any day of the year in South Carolina. While legal statewide, the setting off of fireworks is prohibited by numerous local jurisdictions. Be sure to check with the appropriate law enforcement authority in your area to familiarize yourself with the local laws and ordinances.

How to Stay Safe This Fourth of July

If you plan to set off your own fireworks this Fourth of July, don’t forget the following safety tips:

Fireworks Safety Tips for Adults

  • Always purchase consumer fireworks from licensed retailers. Never use professional, illegal, or homemade devices.
  • Always obey local and residential ordinances. Never use fireworks in an area where they are prohibited by law.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors, never indoors or in an enclosed space.
  • Always read and follow the directions on the labels of any fireworks. Never attempt to alter, combine, or otherwise use fireworks except as intended.
  • Keep a bucket of water or an easily accessible hose nearby when lighting fireworks, and douse all used fireworks in water before discarding them.
  • Never aim fireworks toward homes, other buildings, plants, leaves, or flammable debris. Ignite them only on hard, clean, fireproof surfaces.
  • Never light more than one firework at a time.
  • Never attempt to re-light a “dud.” If a firework does not go off after you light it, leave it alone for at least 20 minutes and then soak it in water.
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand or near any body part while lighting them. Consider wearing protective glasses just to be safe.
  • Never carry fireworks in pockets, as the friction could ignite them.
  • Never set off fireworks if you have been drinking. Designate a responsible adult who will not be drinking to light the fireworks.

Fireworks Safety Tips for Kids

  • Always have an adult supervise children near fireworks displays and keep kids safe from anyone igniting the fireworks.
  • Never allow children under 12 to play with fireworks, even sparklers. According to the CPSC, a typical sparkler can burn at up to 2,000°F.
  • Tell older kids never to throw or point fireworks at others, even jokingly.
  • Never allow children to clean up fireworks debris after events since the fragments could still ignite and explode.

Did Fireworks Injure You or a Loved One? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Jebaily Law Firm Today

The South Carolina fireworks injury lawyers at the Jebaily Law Firm represent people injured due to the negligence of others. We’re ready to help you hold the at-fault party accountable. 

Call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.

George Jebaily

George D. Jebaily, Managing Partner, is the lead attorney for the Personal Injury Team at Jebaily Law Firm, and in 2014 was elected as an at–large member of Florence City Council.