WAKE FOREST — As we prepare to celebrate our country’s independence, the Wake Forest Police Department is reminding area residents that the possession or discharge of fireworks that explode, spin, fly, jump in the air or leave the ground in any way are prohibited by North Carolina law.
Illegal explosives include but are not limited to firecrackers, ground spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars.
The law is stipulated in NCGS 14-410 and 14-414. Violation of this state law is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days to six months in jail.
Readers are also reminded that explosive fireworks, which are sold legally in South Carolina and several other states, are illegal in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, fireworks that are available for personal use are those marked as 1.4G. Novelty items, including sparklers, caps for toy pistols, snakes and glow worms that emit a snake-like ash when burning, as well as trick noisemakers, are legal but still can cause injury if not properly handled. In all cases, these items should be kept away from young children and pets.
While illegal and legal fireworks always pose a serious property and life safety hazard, the threat is even greater when the weather is hot and dry. Houses and businesses of wood frame construction, surrounded by combustible landscaping, can contribute to fast-moving fires caused by the negligent use of fireworks. Significant brush fires and injuries to people may also occur as a result of fireworks use.
If you choose to celebrate Independence Day with consumer fireworks, use the following safety precautions:
•Make a plan about how you will respond to a minor burn or serious burn injury prior to your event.
•Never let children ignite fireworks.
•Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy for hot embers.
•Wet the ground surrounding your event site prior to igniting the fireworks.
•Follow any instructions on the firework exactly.
•Ensure that you back safely away after igniting the firework.
•Never attempt to re-ignite a firework.
•Douse all of the remnants of the fireworks with water when your event is finished.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, eight fireworks-related deaths were reported in 2013. All resulted from the use of illegal and homemade fireworks.
Rather than risking fire or injury from the use of consumer fireworks, area readers are urged to enjoy one of the local Fourth of July celebrations:
•Wake Forest, $5, (cash or ticket only) Friday, 5:30 p.m., Wake Forest High School, 420 W. Stadium Drive.
•Rolesville, by donation, Saturday, 3 p.m., Redford Place Drive ballpark.
•Franklinton, by donation, Friday, 5:30 p.m., Franklinton High School Stadium on Vine Street.