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Fireworks: What’s Legal In North Carolina

Summertime in North Carolina means cookouts, swimming, and fireworks. Watching the bursts of color in the night sky is a family favorite, but not everyone is clear on what is and isn’t legal. People travel to visit loved ones from near and far, sometimes crossing state borders. With so many fireworks on sale near those borders, it’s important to know what’s legal here in North Carolina before lighting a fuse.

North Carolina’s Fireworks Rules

Illegal: Firecrackers, ground spinners, bottle rockets, Roman candles, and aerial fireworks (as a rule of thumb, any firework that explodes or physically leaves the ground)

Legal: Wire sparklers, snake and glow worms, smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere that produce white or colored smoke, and trick noisemakers (including party poppers, string poppers, and snappers)

Age Restrictions: You must be 16 years of age or older to buy or use fireworks in North Carolina.

Penalties: Illegally using fireworks can be punishable by up to a $500 fine and up to six months of imprisonment.

Border States

The fireworks that are illegal in North Carolina are legal to use in both Georgia and South Carolina. But it is important to note that if you buy the fireworks in another state where they are legal and bring them into North Carolina, the fireworks are still illegal and you will face punishment for their use.

 Legal Action

Many fireworks injuries are caused by negligence. If you are injured by fireworks while watching a display put on by an organization, get medical attention first, then contact a personal injury lawyer. We also recommend contacting a lawyer if you are injured by fireworks you are using at home or while working. If the fireworks are illegal and you are hurt, you might still be entitled to help.

Safety First

Even fireworks deemed legal in North Carolina can cause injuries, so take care. In 2019, almost 150 people went to the emergency room for firework-related injuries. Twenty percent of those injuries were caused by firecrackers – legal fireworks in the state. 

Remember never to attempt to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water to prevent it from going off unexpectedly. You can find more information on this, and other firework safety tips here.

Finally, don’t forget about your pets. Pets aren’t as usually excited about fireworks as humans and about a local fireworks display. Learn more about keeping your furry friends safe and happy.

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