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Be safe this holiday weekend

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The roads and beaches are bustling in Brunswick County, signifying one of the busiest weeks of the season is here. With visitors coming into the community, it’s an important time for all of us to remember to have fun but be safe this Fourth of July weekend.

If you’re looking for some free family fun, several communities—from Bald Head Island to Southport and south down to Ocean Isle Beach and Calabash—will have parades, fireworks and more.

If you’re planning to celebrate on a smaller scale with friends and family, please remember North Carolina state law strictly regulates fireworks. If what you want to light this weekend shoots up in the air, spins around, jumps or explodes, you can pretty much cross it off the legal list of things to do.

General Statute 14.414 indicates it is legal to use explosive caps like those used in toy pistols; snake and glow worm pellets that create ash when burning; smoke devices that produce white or colored smoke; trick noisemakers like party poppers, string poppers and snappers or drop pops; and wire sparklers and other sparkling devices as long as they don’t explode, spin or fly through the air.

Nearby South Carolina fireworks stores sell a variety of pyrotechnics, many of which aren’t legal on this side of the state line. If you’re heading south to pick them up, be aware local law enforcement can confiscate any illegal fireworks brought back to North Carolina and fines or other penalties could be imposed.

Also, before the holiday gets here, it’s a good time to remind your friends and family about the dangers of fireworks. Each year, hospitals across the country respond to fireworks-related injuries—everything from burns to missing fingers.

Always use fireworks as they’re intended, and never attempt to relight a “dud,” the National Council on Fireworks Safety urges. Spectators should stay at a safe distance from fireworks, and remember, mixing alcohol use with fireworks can be a deadly combination.

Don’t forget, if you’re going to be driving or boating this weekend, law enforcement agencies will be on the roads and in the water to make sure everyone can get where they’re going safely.

If you’re consuming alcohol, don’t take a chance. Stay put or find a designated driver. The decision could save your life.

If you’re looking for a list of things to do this weekend, check out our latest issue of Island Living inside today’s paper, or refer to a list of area events in this week’s Arts and Entertainment Calendar in the Tidelines section.

There’s plenty of fun to be had by all this weekend, and we hope it’s all done safely.