The arsenal you and your family have acquired for your Fourth of July festivities is nothing to sneeze at, but to not bother your freedom-loving neighbors, knowing South Carolina’s laws may be your best bet in having a fun and safe holiday.
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, firework sales see a sharp increase. Whether you’re just hoping to catch a professional show or you’re looking to pick up a few fireworks for home, we have a few tips on how to stay safe and within the law this year.
First thing’s first – you must be at least 16 years old to purchase fireworks in the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina fireworks laws are far less strict than most states. Overall, pretty much anything goes; bottle rockets, mortars, spinners, cakes, aerial fireworks.
It’s not uncommon for residents of nearby states that have stricter laws to find their way across the border into South Carolina to make their purchases. Be careful before selling or providing South Carolina fireworks to anyone who lives in a state with stricter laws — some states prohibit bringing these fireworks back across state lines, and it could cause issues later on.
What Fireworks Are IIlegal?
South Carolina’s laws only specify a few kinds of fireworks that are illegal for an average SC resident to purchase or possess. In South Carolina, it’s illegal to have “fireworks containing pyrotechnic composition above two grains, designed to produce a loud and piercing effect, including:
- “ground salutes” or “cherry bombs
- TNT salutes
- “bulldog salutes
- Bottle rockets
Other than that, all other fireworks are permitted in South Carolina.
Is there a Noise Ordinance?
As for a curfew for firing fireworks, laws are on a municipal level, with each county setting their own rules. In Richland County, for example, noise ordinances are extended on July 4 and Dec. 31, when fireworks can be used until 1 a.m.
Here is a list of safety tips from the National Safety Council
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Read caution labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Responsible adults should supervise all firework activities. NEVER give fireworks to children.
- Do not mix alcohol and fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses or goggles when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTSIDE in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” or used firework. Wait 20 minutes and soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them in or into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade or modified fireworks.
- Dispose of fireworks safely by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from buildings or combustible materials until the next day.
- Do not transport fireworks in checked or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives to the fire and police department.
Remember To Be Respectful and Courteous of your Neighbors
As you plan to celebrate the 4th of July, please remember that the bright lights and booming sounds of fireworks can be tough for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 30 percent of Vietnam Veterans have suffered from PTSD in their lifetime. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs website, the number of Veterans with PTSD differs with service area. In a given year, 12 percent of Gulf War Veterans will suffer from PTSD, and 11 to 20 percent of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Veterans will have PTSD.
The loud noises and bright lights of fireworks can trigger some bad memories for military veterans.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one. If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound. Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display. Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
Stay Safe in South Carolina
These safety tips can help keep your holiday from ending in injury. At Bluestein Attorneys, we work to help South Carolina citizens from our offices here in Columbia with issues like personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, Veterans disability, and more.
If you’re looking to schedule a consultation with a legal representative to discuss an issue, we can be reached by phone at (803) 674-8817 or contact us online at any time!