State fireworks ban protects residents and visitors

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Every Fourth of July, crowds of people gather to “oooh” and “ahhh” over the area’s fireworks displays. While most people enjoy a good fireworks show, some want to recreate that sense of enjoyment in their own backyards—a big “no-no” in North Carolina.

Fireworks are illegal in North Carolina, and shooting them can be dangerous, not just to yourself but those around you. This was evident last week as a group of vacationers decided to set off fireworks in the backyard of the house they were renting in Sunset Beach.

In just a few short moments, the lawn and surrounding brush had caught fire.

The Sunset Beach Fire Department responded and the Grissettown-Longwood Fire Department and Calabash EMS provided backup.

Thankfully, no homes caught fire and no one was injured. But if the sparks had landed just a little to the left or right, this scenario could have had a more serious outcome.

While it can be tempting to cross the border into South Carolina and bring fireworks back into Brunswick County, it is illegal—and dangerous.

In an effort to keep their residents and visitors safe, Sunset Beach will be stopping cars as they cross to the island to distribute fliers warning fireworks are illegal, any fireworks found will be confiscated, and offenders could face a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail.

Some have expressed concerns about the inconvenience this will present to travelers, but incidents like the one in Sunset Beach last Thursday prove a few minutes of one’s time are minor when one stops to consider the risk fireworks present.

Laws prohibiting fireworks are there to protect North Carolina’s homes and residents. Abiding by those laws will keep people safe and prevent fires like the one we saw in Sunset Beach last week.

We applaud the Sunset Beach Police Department for its efforts to protect the town’s citizens and visitors, and we hope that other towns will take similar measures.

We also hope that, for their own sake as well as the safety of others, Brunswick County citizens and visitors will resist the urge to cross the South Carolina border and bring contraband fireworks back to our state.

If you want to watch fireworks, attend one of the local fireworks displays (you can find a list of Fourth of July activities in the Tides and Island Living sections of this week’s Beacon). We want to see everyone have a safe and happy Fourth of July.