Every year, Americans celebrate their independence, and many of us believe the holiday is not complete without fireworks.
President John Adams wrote a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776, in which he said that Independence Day should be celebrated with “Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” If you decide to forego the commercial fireworks display in your local park and celebrate at home instead, you should know about North Carolina fireworks laws.
In 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 11,000 people had been seen in emergency rooms, and 4 people had died from fireworks injuries, despite laws in most states banning most types of fireworks. Most injuries, in fact, result from misuse of legal fireworks. You will find that most fireworks cannot be bought in North Carolina, but before you head south of the border to buy your supply, look into North Carolina’s laws:
The only fireworks that are legal in the state of North Carolina are snakes, glow worms, sparklers, smoke devices, and noisemakers. Anything that leaves the ground is illegal. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to use any fireworks, even the legal ones. Fireworks banned in North Carolina that are purchased legally in another state may not be used in North Carolina.
Users of legal fireworks are advised to always purchase from a licensed dealer, and not to attempt to alter fireworks after purchase. Fireworks should be stored in a cool dry place, and should never be placed near a heat source or open flame. Water should be kept nearby when fireworks are being used. Fireworks should not be used on a paved surface to prevent accidental ignition of grass or vegetation. Fireworks should never be ignited in a metal or glass container.
Liability For Fireworks Injuries At Home
Individuals who use illegal fireworks or permit underage children to use fireworks on their property may be liable for injuries sustained by a child or adult guest. Even when no laws have been broken, using fireworks in a reckless manner can lead to liability for personal injuries. Failure to follow all instructions for proper use of fireworks can also lead to liability for any injuries.
Injuries At Commercial Fireworks Displays
Even in the hands of experts, fireworks are inherently dangerous, and accidents can happen. Four people died in 2009 after an accidental explosion at a fireworks display in Ocracoke, and injuries are reported every year in various locations around the country. When the fireworks are discovered to be defective, the manufacturer may be liable for injuries and property damage caused by the defective product, whether the injured party was an operator or a spectator. Negligent operators may be responsible for injuries caused by improper handling of fireworks.
North Carolina Accident Lawyers
The team at Campbell & Associates wishes you and your family a safe and happy Independence Day holiday. If you or a family member does suffer an unfortunate injury from fireworks at a private party or a public event, please call our accident experts at 704-769-2316 for a free consultation.