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Tips for safe fireworks use by the South Congaree Police Department

South Congaree, SC 06/29/2023 (Captain Chris Garner) – As the July 4th Holiday approaches, many people will consider fireworks an integral part of their celebration. Before you blast away, there are some safety rules you need to know and follow to prevent a trip to the emergency room from ruining your fun. In some cases, and places in Lexington County, they also may prevent you from having an unwanted visit from your local law enforcement.


In Lexington County, it is certainly legal to use fireworks in the unincorporated areas. However, in some towns and cities, it is either illegal or the use of fireworks is restricted to certain days and hours by law. If you live in a municipality, check with your local government before you decide to buy and use fireworks.


Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities for both children and teens. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Young children can suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.


-Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Do not hold a firework in your hand when lighted unless specifically stated on the caution label.


-Light fireworks one at a time. Back up quickly to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Soak dud fireworks with water after waiting 20 minutes.


-Never point or throw fireworks at another person.


-Have water ready in a bucket and a charged garden hose in case of fire or another mishap.

-Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.


-After fireworks stop burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket, or hose before discarding fireworks and discard it in a nonflammable trash can outside, several feet away from a house, garage, deck or anything flammable


-Don't forget about your pets! Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets, but there are ways to help reduce their fear and anxiety. Keep your pets indoors. Close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Treat toys filled with their favorite food (frozen pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and apple sauce are good options) may also help keep their minds busy and distract them from the fireworks.


-Last, but certainly not least, some US military veterans that saw combat during the wars on terror may react adversely to fireworks due to PTSD. Please be a good neighbor to these vets and use fireworks judiciously around them and their homes.


In addition to these tips, follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for consumer safety and be sure to consult your state and local laws as private firework usage may be restricted in your area.


Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!


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