Firework accidents cause 32K fires each year

Image from WKRN

GEORGETOWN, SC (WBTW) – Fire officials say being safe with fireworks isn’t just about preventing burns. It’s also about avoiding fires, as more than 32,000 fires are reportedly yearly because of improper handling of fireworks.

Todd Blomdahl of Midway Fire Rescue says it’s important to know what you’re doing before you light the fuse.

“It is important to be aware that more than 32,000 fires occur annually in the United States due to the mishandling of fireworks, and these fires cause more than $30 million in property damage,” Blomdahl said. “In addition, many individuals are seriously injured by the misuse of fireworks.”

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a professional display, recommends Blomdahl. Both the City of Georgetown and the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk will host free public fireworks displays on the night of July 4th. Fireworks are banned in the Town of Pawleys Island and along much of the beachfront in Litchfield.

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For those who plan to let off fireworks at their home, fire officials ask that you follow these recommendations:

  • Never let children under the age of 16 handle, play with, or light any fireworks. A celebration can quickly turn tragic if a child is injured.
  • Use fireworks outside only — never indoors or in a garage. Use a clear, open area and keep your audience a safe distance from the site where fireworks will be ignited.
  • Never aim, point, or throw fireworks at people, vehicles or buildings.
  • Do not discharge fireworks from any vehicle.

Special Note: South Carolina Resident Fire Marshals have determined that Kongming Lanterns (i.e. sky lanterns, Chinese lanterns, sky candles, fire balloons) present a serious fire and safety hazard when released into the sky. As a result, these devices are banned from use unless they are securely anchored or tethered.