Fire Marshal Woody Urges Safety, Legal Fireworks for July 4

Fire Marshal Woody is urging residents and visitors to use caution this Fourth of July to prevent accidents, burns, amputations, and even deaths. 

While fireworks are fun and visually appeasing, the National Fire Protection Association says fireworks led to more than 19,000 fires in 2018, including structures and vehicles, and sent more than 9,000 people to the ER in the U.S. The most injured body parts? Hand or finger (28%) followed by leg (24%) and eyes (19%), according to the 2018 Fireworks report by Yongling Tu and Jason Ng.

“We want everyone to have fun on July 4th, but you can’t do that if you start a fire or injure yourself,” said Mooresville Fire Marshal Jason "Woody" Workman. “The safest way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show, such as the Lowe’s YMCA and Queen’s Landing fireworks shows in Mooresville.”

When it comes to buying and setting off fireworks, make sure you don't buy any illegal fireworks. It's illegal to use/set off firecrackers, fireworks that spin on the ground, roman candles, bottle rockets, or any aerial fireworks. Remember: if it leaves the ground, it's illegal in North Carolina. 

Sparklers are a popular firework choice for children, but Fire Marshal Woody warns they are very dangerous. The tip of a sparkler can reach 1,200°F. That’s hotter than what it takes to melt glass (900°F) and burn wood (575°F). Woody says glow sticks are a safe alternative for all ages.

Here's more of Woody's July 4th tips to have a fun and safe holiday:

  • Only buy fireworks from reliable vendors
  • Don’t alter or try to make your own fireworks
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers
  • Don’t wear loose clothing while handling fireworks and sparklers
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby, in case of a fire
  • Light one firework at a time and move away from it quickly
  • Never point or throw fireworks, including sparklers, at any person, animal, or structure

Fire Marshal Woody suggests letting the fireworks cool, then placing them in a bucket of water overnight before throwing them away. This will help prevent a fire in yards and trash cans.