Officials give firework safety tips ahead of July 4th

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – People throughout the Lowcountry are buying fireworks to prepare for July 4th.

“We’ve had pretty good success,” John Hayes, owner of Big Daddy’s Fireworks Stands, said. “We have stands located here in Northwoods Mall, at the end of Rivers, Hanahan and three in the Summerville area.”

As firework sales soar, local officials are sharing advice on how to properly use them to keep everyone safe.

“We like to wet down the ground,” Mount Pleasant Fire Department battalion chief Matt Tidwell said, “and we like to have a solid surface that we’re going to shoot fireworks off of. We highly recommend adults only to shoot off fireworks, and then the spectators to be far enough away to be able to view and be at a safe distance.”

Mount Pleasant Fire Department says proper disposal of fireworks is important since majority of fires they see around the holiday are caused by fireworks that are still lit being dumped into trashcans.

“We always tell people after their fireworks,” Tidwell said, “put them in your driveway or put them in a metal bin, a metal trashcan, and just hose them down, fill them with water. And then, leave it there overnight.”

Xander Wise bought fireworks Saturday for a July 4th party. He says children will be there, so he’s taking extra precautions.

“It’s very easy for one of these things to mess up or to go off wrong,” Wise said. “As far as that, where you light them is extremely important. Like, if you’re lighting them on pavement or if you’re lighting them in grass. Always have something to extinguish them with. You never know when something is going to catch the case on fire, or something like that. It’s a bad time.”

John Hayes says his main goal as a fireworks supplier is to make sure his customers enjoy his products in a safe way.

“Everybody loves fireworks,” Hayes said. “We want them to stay safe. There’s nothing better than lighting it up and making noise and pretty things in the sky. When we can put a smile on a kid’s face, or a family’s face, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.”

John Hayes says he also gives all of his customers punks, which are used as a safer alternative for lighting fireworks than lighters or matches.