Beware the big show: Fireworks from SC can get you in trouble at home
Posted June 30, 2020 5:35 p.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2021 2:22 p.m. EDT
SOUTH OF THE BORDER, S.C. — With many of the municipal fireworks shows canceled to keep crowds in check during the coronavirus pandemic, North Carolinians are headed south of the border to pick up supplies to put on their own holiday display. But fireworks purchased out of state can mean legal trouble back home.
Rochelle and Ronald Williams from Rocky Mount made the trip to South of the Border on Tuesday to pick up fireworks for their holiday blast.
"We get together, and we cook out. We enjoy family and shoot fireworks. It's good food, good folks, good fun," he said.
Andrew Katz, of Raleigh, said, "Independence Day is our family's favorite holiday." He and some others put in the cash to pick up a stash.
"I usually make the run down here and pick up a load of fireworks, and we put on a big, old show," he said.
Lola Jacobs, who manages a fireworks shop in South Carolina said some customers buy hundreds, even thousands of fireworks every year.
"They do it as a family," she said, "but they buy a lot of fireworks."
Some of the fireworks for sale in South Carolina are illegal in North Carolina. That includes Roman candles, bottle rockets and all fireworks which explode or are projected into the air.
Fireworks safety tips
Buy fireworks only from a reliable vendor
Do not make alterations to fireworks or try to make your own
Do not use your pockets to store fireworks, even for a few moments
Always store fireworks in cool, dry places
Only responsible adults should handle fireworks
If children are nearby, an adult should closely supervise them at all times
Never point or aim fireworks at property or people
Do not try to re-ignite any “dud” fireworks
Always keep a running hose or bucket of water close at hand, in case of fire
Legal fireworks in NC
Novelty items which do not explode, fly, spin, or leave the ground
Illegal fireworks in NC
All fireworks which explode or are projected into the air
Save yourself a fine
In North Carolina, fireworks customers must be at least 18.
It's not only illegal to set off some fireworks in the state, it's illegal to possess or transport them as well.
Any violation is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum $500 fine. Prosecutors enhance charges if the fireworks cause any physical damage to people or property. In these instances, there is a maximum six-month jail term.