As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, the Wake Forest Police Department is reminding area residents that the possession or discharge of most fireworks that explode, spin, fly, jump in the air, or leave the ground in any way are prohibited by North Carolina law. Illegal explosives include but are not limited to firecrackers, ground spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and mortars.
The law is stipulated in North Carolina General Statutes 14-410 and 14-414. Violation of this State Law is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days to six months in jail.
Residents are also reminded that explosive fireworks, which are sold legally in South Carolina and several other states, are illegal in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, fireworks that are available for personal use are those marked as 1.4G. Novelty items, including sparklers, caps for toy pistols, snake and glow worms that emit a snake-like ash when burning, and trick noisemakers, are legal but still can cause injury if not properly handled. In all cases, these items should be kept away from young children and pets.
While illegal and legal fireworks always pose a serious property and life safety hazard, the threat is even greater when the weather is hot and dry. Houses and businesses composed of wood frame construction, surrounded by combustible landscaping, can contribute to fast moving fires caused by the negligent use of fireworks. Significant brush fires and injuries to persons may also occur as a result of fireworks use.
Viewing public displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July. An array of family activities is planned for area residents on Sunday, July 3, at Wake Forest High School, 420 W. Stadium Dr., beginning at 5:30 p.m. A professional fireworks display will conclude the festivities. For more information, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/july4.aspx.