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Lexington County fire marshals know fireworks can be fun, but they are also dangerous if misused

Lexington, SC 06/30/2022 (Paul Kirby) – Fire marshals with the Lexington County Fire Service are hoping that members of the public who decides to buy and use their own fireworks over the holiday weekend will take the time to read the manufacturer’s directions and be safe. Each year across the country, thousands spend a portion of their holidays in the Emergency Department of the local hospital waiting to be treated for wounds from these pyrotechnics that were supposed to be enjoyable.

According to nationwide statistics provided by Lexington County, in 2017, 12,000 fireworks injuries were reported and 50 percent of these were children or young adults under the age of 20. About 1,200 of those injuries came from sparklers and firecrackers. Also, fireworks start on average 18,500 fires a year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 17,000 other fires. Even though we have had rain this week, it takes only a few warm, dry hours and a good stiff wind to allow things to get to the point that they can be ignited by fireworks.

Take a moment to look at some facts about the most popular types of fireworks and their dangers.

Sparklers Are Dangerous

Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees. They are hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

Firecrackers can Permanently Injure or Disable Hands and Fingers

Although firecrackers can be fun, if the go off while being held, they can do permanent damage or even disable the user’s hand or fingers. They’ve also been known to damage people’s eyes and ears if used improperly. Never light these in your hand or throw them in the direction of someone who’s enjoying the fireworks with you. What seems like a harmless prank way well end up with one or both of you having to seek medical attention. There have been recorded cases where someone has lost the use of a finger or a portion of their hand because of misusing firecrackers.

Fireworks safety tips

· Never allow young children to handle fireworks

· Older children should use them only under close adult supervision

· Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol, they don’t mix

· Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear

· Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands

· Never light them indoors

· Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable material

· Never point or throw fireworks at another person

· Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting

· Never ignite devices in a container. It may explode sending shrapnel in all directions.

· Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

· Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

· Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

· If a fire does start, have someone call 911 before trying to extinguish the fire yourself. Even a slight delay may make a big difference in whether the fire department must simply wet something down or battle a raging blaze

· Have a shovel or rake on hand to extinguish any small grass fires but still call 911

· Never use illegal or “Black Market” fireworks

· Always, always, always read the manufacturer’s instructions on the fireworks packaging before use

Before you choose to use personal fireworks, it might be in your best interest to check local regulations on their use before you begin. In some cities and towns, the use of these are prohibited. There may also be an ordinance that covers the hours that you can begin and when you must stop using fireworks. Knowing the rules beforehand may prevent an embarrassing and sometimes costly visit from law enforcement.

Many pets fear fireworks. Make sure that yours’s are secure and comfortable before you begin. Also, check on them regularly while using personal fireworks. If you find a strange pet at your home or in your neighborhood after a night of fireworks, approach them cautiously. If the seem scared but approachable and will let you hold or pet them, check for a collar with a name, address, and phone number on it. Rabies tags also have the name of the veterinarian that administered that vaccine and an ID number. You can check with that vet for a record of the pet’s owner. Veterinarians can also scan lost pets for a microchip linked to a national database for their owner’s contact information. Vets will perform this scan for free.

Lastly, be a good neighbor. Not everyone is a fan of fireworks and the noise associated with their use. Many combat veterans have trouble dealing with the explosions associated with fireworks. It can send them into a bout of depression or trigger PTSD flashbacks. Set a reasonable limit for when you are going to stop using fireworks so the whole neighborhood isn’t wide awake while you and your friends or family enjoy themselves.

The very safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July is to attend one of the many professional displays that will be occurring over the weekend. Some of those are:

Icehouse Amphitheater in Lexington

Join the Town of Lexington for an Independence Day Celebration on Friday, July 1 at Icehouse Amphitheater!

The 246th Army Band will play a concert from 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. and there will be fireworks to follow.

You can tune into to 93.1FM The Lake to listen to patriotic music during the fireworks show.

Best viewing areas include the Icehouse Amphitheater, Main St. restaurants, Lexington Square Park, Lexington Veterans Monument, and any public parking lot in the Downtown Area.

The parking lots along Church Street will be closed all day. Virginia Hylton Park will close at 7:00pm.

Capital City Lake Murray Country – Lake Murray

On Saturday, July 2nd, 2022, the celebration will kick off with the

Patriotic Boat Parade at 12pm at Bomb Island. Enjoy the patriotic display as locals & visitors decorate their boats in ways that will leave you amazed! Viewable from the park sites at the Lake Murray Dam after 1pm or by boat! This year’s theme is “Honoring our Heroes.” Registration for the boat parade has closed.

SC’s Largest Fireworks Show on Lake Murray will begin just after dark (9:15-9:30pm) from two lake locations: Spence Island & Dreher Island. Fireworks DO NOT launch from the park sites at the dam. The fireworks show is synchronized to music. Turn on your radio to B106.7 to hear the patriotic music while enjoying the view.

For those that miss the event, tune into WLTX -TV; they will televise the fireworks show at 8:30pm on July 4th.

Fort Jackson Independence Day Celebration

Fort Jackson Independence Day Celebration at Hilton Field commemorating the 246th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and creation of our Nation. Entertainment includes a variety of static displays, concert by country/R&B/Pop artist “Breland,” Fireworks, Kids Zone with Carnival Rides and Crafts Tents, Food/Beverages; AAFES food trucks and NCO Club Bar tents (beer and wine only), NO sales to IET. Soldiers are highly encouraged to attend. Civilians, Family Members, contractors, Partners in Excellence (PiE), the general public and friends of Fort Jackson are invited and encouraged to attend.

Event Schedule:

2 p.m. - Gate opens to the public.

4 p.m. - Field opens (SC Picnic, Soldiers arrival, Kids Zone, food and beverages).

6 p.m. - Event starts.

6:35 - 7:05 p.m. - Opening performance.

7:30 - 8:30 p.m. - Breland concert performance (brought to you by the USO).

8:40 - 8:50 p.m. - 282nd Band “1812” Performance with Salute Battery

8:50 - 9:15 p.m. - Fireworks show.

You can find more information at

Remember, enjoy yourself but be safe!

Call the Editor
(803) 587-3144

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Call Paul Kirby

(803) 587-3144

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