4th of July Fireworks Safety

As a general rule, North Carolina has restrictive laws on fireworks. Many fireworks you can purchase in South Carolina are not legal in North Carolina.

The majority of injuries from fireworks are from smaller devices, like fountains and sparklers.

Fireworks Facts

  • Fireworks cause an average of almost 20,000 reported fires per year.
  • Each July 4th, thousands of people, often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks
  • In 2013, sparklers caused 41% of fireworks injuries.
  • The tip of a sparkler burns hot enough to cause third-degree burns (over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5 to 19 and adults 25 to 44.
  • Nearly 90 % of emergency room fireworks injuries involve fireworks that consumers are legally permitted to use.

State Fire Marshal Causey Offers Fireworks Warning

Citizens advised to leave fireworks to the pros; attend community displays.

Raleigh - Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey today warned North Carolinians about the dangers of fireworks as they celebrate the upcoming July Fourth holiday.

Some people when they were kids may have had firecrackers and sparklers, but they need to realize these devices are not toys and respect them, and also realize that there are so many more fireworks now that are more dangerous," said Causey. "I hope all North Carolinians enjoy a safe holiday, but ask that they please leave all fireworks-even those legal in North Carolina-to the professionals.

In 2015, there were 11 deaths and an estimated 11,900 people who sustained injuries related to fireworks, with 67% of those injuries occurring in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers accounted for 3,900 injuries requiring emergency room visits.

A simple, handheld sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit or more. To put that into perspective, water boils at 212 degrees, a cake bakes at 350 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees.

North Carolina citizens are encouraged to only attend public fireworks displays performed by trained professionals permitted by the state. After the display, do not pick up or touch leftover fireworks because they may still be active.