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The original item was published from 7/1/2019 4:23:29 PM to 7/2/2019 2:11:24 PM.

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Posted on: July 1, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Sheriff Blackwood reminds citizens to handle fireworks with care this holiday season

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With the July 4th holiday approaching, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood asks all citizens to join him in making this holiday happy, enjoyable, and safe for everyone.

“Fireworks are enjoyable to watch, but they are very dangerous,” said Blackwood. “Because of this very high safety risk, fireworks that explode or leave the ground are not legal in most areas of North Carolina, including in Orange County. In addition to the personal safety concerns, fireworks are also a threat to property. Used incorrectly, they can cause home, vehicle, or forest fires.”

Sparklers, fountains, snakes, glow worms, party poppers, snappers, and drop pops ARE permitted. These products are fun and festive and carry much less risk.

Please follow these safety guidelines:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • If your neighbors have pets, let them know your plans. Skittish animals are at increased risk – give your neighbors a chance to prepare for their safety.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
  • Clean up after yourself, and make sure everything is completely extinguished before placing it in a trash can.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 13,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. “Rules that might seem restrictive developed out of necessity,” said Sheriff Blackwood. “We don’t want your holiday memories to include a visit to the hospital or a stay at the Burn Unit. We want you to have a great time, so please celebrate responsibly.”

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