HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - If you're planning to set off fireworks Monday you might want to think twice. Not only are they illegal in cities along the Grand Strand, but Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue says they account for 19 percent of injuries during the summer season.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission says to keep them away from kids and keep all firework activities adult supervised. Never try to re-light or pick up a firework that didn't fully take off; there could be something wrong with it.
Keep a bucket of water or hose close in case something like that does happen, and move away after lighting a firework. Don't carry them around in your pocket, shoot them off in glass or metal containers and of course, don't aim them at a person.
After the firework is done burning, completely douse it in water before throwing it away...or your trash could catch on fire.
Lt. Christian Sliker, spokesman for Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, said many injuries are from sparklers, although they're one of the most common type of firework.
"During the July Fourth period, there's 230 people that visit the ER a day for injuries due to fireworks. We want to cut that down. We want to make sure you leave it to the professionals and stay safe. These are explosives. People don't understand that even sparklers can cause serious burns, they account for 19 percent of the injuries of this season," Lt. Sliker said.
Staying safe also mean obeying laws. Horry County and Grand Strand laws can be tricky.
In Myrtle Beach, if you set off fireworks yourself or are caught with them, you could receive a ticket for the illegal use or possession of fireworks. Those tickets could cost you as much as $210 in fines, though an officer may give you fair warning before handing out that ticket. Those same laws apply within the City of North Myrtle Beach and throughout Grand Strand cities like Surfside Beach and Pawleys Island. The fines might vary, though. It is legal to use fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Horry County, but if you fire them after 11 p.m., you're violating Horry County's noise ordinance.
Despite all the rules, fire departments are ready to respond to firework-related calls up and down the Grand Strand and Horry County.
"We still do answer calls, and that's why we want visitors to know the difference, that they're prohibited here. Sometimes as you come up to Myrtle Beach, there are some stores on the way in, so people don't know our regulations and laws in the city of Myrtle Beach. So the best thing we can do is continue to advise them that they're prohibited here," Lt. Sliker said.
Lt. Sliker encouraged everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals. For a rundown on times and place for firework shows on Monday, July 4th, click here.