Greener BeeGreen HolidaysBe safe this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a night full of “oohs” and “aahs” and staring at a sky full of fireworks while listening to the “1812 Overture.”

Residents should be wary that where there are fireworks, there also potential safety hazards to note to make it a safe and fun weekend.

One safety tip for the weekend is being cautious around grills. Summerville Fire Chief Richard Waring said to make sure everything is working properly with the grill, and keep it a safe distance from structures. Parents should also keep a close eye on children.

Residents who are launching fireworks should know they can only launch regulated fireworks; anything homemade is illegal. Sparklers are permissible.

Fireworks are allowed in Summerville and Dorchester County. In Summerville, people can shoot fireworks within the city limits from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the year with two exceptions. On the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day the hours are extended until 1 a.m. Fireworks cannot be discharged onto neighboring public or private property without permission from the property owner.

Violations can result in penalties of up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.

A press release from the United States Forest Services states that the use of fireworks “and other pyrotechnic devices” are prohibited on national forest lands and national grasslands year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Francis Marion is a national forest in South Carolina.

Forest visitors are also reminded to ensure all campfires are extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving them.

Dorchester County does not have a fireworks ordinance but does have a noise ordinance.

Waring said when operating fireworks in Summerville, make sure there is always adult supervision and make sure fireworks are not launched near houses, structures or treas. Waring advises never to try to relight a dead firework – soak it with water and dispose of it.

For those who would rather sit back and enjoy while professionals handle the pyrotechnics, the town is getting ready for its annual Red White Blue on the Green event on the Fourth of July. The town has joined forces with Summerville DREAM to put on the event at Gahagan Park from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event is free and will include a fireworks display, live entertainment, a kid’s zone with games and prizes, beer garden and food vendors. Outside coolers and dogs will not be permitted at the event – see sidebar.

Waring said there will be a fire crew on standby throughout the event and during the fireworks display.

Waring said one thing he likes about the town event is that the fireworks display is put on by a professional company that is licensed to do so, making it safer.

“It’s just a good, safe way to enjoy the holiday,” he said.

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