FIREWORKS & SUMMER CELEBRATIONS
In advance of the summer holidays, the City of Darlington Fire Department wants to remind the public about a few rules for fireworks.
Fireworks are not allowed in the city limits after 10 p.m. The City ordinance requires loud or unreasonably disturbing noises to cease in or near residential areas between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Public displays require state permits. A private fireworks display is a private individual who purchases consumer fireworks and shoots them on his property that he owns or leases. Once other people gather, it becomes a public display, which requires a state permit. Churches, private clubs, and other groups must get a permit from the state for a public fireworks display. Organizations also need to inform the local department of your plans (843-398-4013). This requires advance notice of 30 days prior to your scheduled event. Call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 803-896-9800.
Fireworks are legal in South Carolina but cannot be sold to anyone younger than 16 years of age. If you do choose to use consumer fireworks over the holiday, the Darlington Fire Department suggests these safety tips:
- Fireworks are legal in Darlington City limits; however, they cannot be discharged after 10 p.m. due to the City noise ordinance. You can contact the Darlington Police Department at 843-398-4026 or the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office at 843-398-4501 if you have any questions about the laws where you live.
- The weather in Darlington should be good this week, but always be aware of local weather conditions when using fireworks. Dry weather makes it easier for fireworks to start a fire.
- Only buy from permitted fireworks retailers.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Keep a garden hose on hand.
- Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
- Use common sense. Always read and follow the directions in each firework.
- Only use fireworks outdoors in clear, open areas, away from homes, dry grass or brush, and trees.
- Ensure people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance. Use eye protection when lighting fireworks.
- Put used fireworks in a bucket of water.
- Point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Re-ignite malfunctions fireworks.
- Experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
- Give fireworks to small children.
- Carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
- Place any part of your body directly over the fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.
You can have fun without fireworks.
Use glow sticks as a safe alternative to sparklers.
Red, white, and blue silly string makes fun for all ages, day or night.
Set up a projector and hold an outdoor movie night.
In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries.
An estimated 19,500 fires started by fireworks were reported to local US fire departments in 2018. These fires caused five civilian deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.
Based on 2014-2018 annual averages:
- Brush, grass, or forest fires accounted for three of every five (59 percent) of fireworks fires.
- Only nine percent of the fireworks fires were structure fires; but, these incidents accounted for almost all of the fire deaths, three-quarters (74 percent) of the fire injuries, and 45 percent of the fire property damage.
- More than one-quarter (28 percent) of fires started by fireworks in 2014–2018 were reported on the Fourth of July.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 9,100 consumer fireworks-related injuries were seen in US hospital emergency departments in 2018.
- Burns accounted for 44 percent of the fireworks-related injuries seen in the month around July 4.
- Many fireworks-related injuries were caused by fireworks that are legal in most states.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions
Upcoming Summer Celebrations
- In honor of Memorial Day, the City and the American Legion Post 13 invites all to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31, at the Darlington Veterans Memorial at the corner of North Main Street and Orange Street downtown. Grady Weaver will be the guest speaker. Bring your lawn chair. A special announcement will follow the ceremony.
- In celebration of Independence Day, the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce plans to hold the annual Freedom Fest carnival and fireworks show from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 26, on the Public Square. Amusement rides and vendors will line the courthouse grounds, and as darkness falls, pull up a chair to see the fireworks overhead.