Each Fourth of July 4, thousands of people, most often kids and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. On a typical Fourth of July, there are more fires nationally than on any other day of the year, with fireworks accounting for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Over 11,000 injuries occur annually in the United States from fireworks alone.
Many people falsely believe that because sparklers and similar fireworks are legal and readily available, they are safe. Too often, it’s small consumer fireworks that start fires or cause serious burn injuries. A simple sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, a cake bakes at 350 degrees.
The Asheville Fire Department recommends that people play it safe and attend a local firework display put on by the professionals.
Legal vs. illegal fireworks
Illegal fireworks in N.C. are those which are propelled, create loud noises or move in any way. Legal fireworks are not loud and can emit showers or sparks. Some examples of legal fireworks are snake and glow worms, smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere that produce white or colored smoke, trick noisemakers-including party poppers, string poppers and snappers and the ever popular sparklers.
The Asheville Fire Department enforces the law on fireworks as it is written in the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code and general statute regarding this issue. No one under the age of 16 is permitted to purchase fireworks and the fire department highly recommends any child using legal fireworks be supervised by an adult.
If you have questions or concerns regarding fireworks, please contact the Asheville Fire Department at 828-259-5636.