With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the cancellation of public July Fourth celebrations, the Greenville City Fire Department is encouraging residents to safely commemorate the holiday.
“With many professional fireworks shows being canceled this year, it is more important than ever to remind residents that celebration often turns into tragedy with the improper use of fireworks,” said Fire Marshal Tristan Johnson.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually, and fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report said burns account for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms in the month around July Fourth.
“If residents choose to use fireworks, we want to make sure they make informed purchases and take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” Johnson said. “We also want to remind residents of the city’s fireworks ordinance.”
The city of Greenville prohibits individuals from using, discharging, shooting or igniting any fireworks or similar explosives between the hours of 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. The only exceptions for extended hours in the ordinance are for New Year’s Eve and July Fourth. On those days, fireworks may be discharged until 12:30 a.m.
The Greenville City Fire Department recommends the public exercise the following fireworks safety tips:
- Purchase fireworks from retailers permitted through the Fire Marshal’s office.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
- Read and follow the directions on each firework.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Only use fireworks outdoors and away from homes, dry grass and trees.
- Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance.
- Never experiment with fireworks or attempt to make fireworks at home.
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
- Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and keep a garden hose on hand.
For more information or alternative ideas to celebrate the holiday, visit www.greenvillesc.gov.