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The original item was published from 7/3/2018 1:02:20 PM to 7/5/2018 5:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: July 3, 2018

[ARCHIVED] York County Sheriff’s Office July 4th Boating & Fireworks safety advisory.

Fourth of July Fireworks Graphic with badge and blue fireworks.

YORK COUNTY, SC – Independence Day is a time to celebrate our Nation’s Independence & spend valuable time with family & friends.  Sheriff Kevin Tolson would like to remind citizens of a few safety tips to make sure the Fourth of July holiday is safe for you & your family.


On the night of July 4th, York County Deputies will not respond to fireworks-related noise complaints until after midnight. However, if you see a person shooting off fireworks in an unsafe or reckless manner we will address the issue.  


Boaters are asked to use caution while enjoying the area lakes and waterways through the Fourth of July Holiday.

  • Do not shoot fireworks from boats.
  • South Carolina law requires a person under 16 years of age to pass a boating safety course approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources or be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in order to operate a vessel.
  • When you’re on your boat make sure you have plenty of life jackets for everyone on your vessel.  Children must wear a life vest at all times.
  • If someone falls overboard to make sure you have a personal flotation device you can throw to them.
  • You’ll need a working fire extinguisher.  Also a whistle or bell. Plus make sure all your navigation lights are working properly.  It’s good to have a first aid kit on board your boat as well.
  • Make sure you have your current title and registration for your boat.
  • Do not operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.           


  • It's recommended to watch a professional firework display.
  • Do not let children handle or light fireworks.
  • Do not handle or light fireworks while intoxicated.
  • Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
  • Light fireworks on a noncombustible surface such as a concrete driveway, and away from dry grass or any flammable liquids or materials.
  • Please direct your fireworks away from homes and grassy fields. On a typical Independence Day, more fires are reported than any other day of the year and half of those fires are caused by fireworks. High temperatures and limited rainfall have caused trees and grasses to become dry.  
  • Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but a sparkler can burn up to 1,200 degrees and cause third-degree burns. Please use caution when handling fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby. Wet down used fireworks with a garden hose after you have fired them off. 
  • When disposing of fireworks, after wetting them down, place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials the next day.


  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.


Please be courteous and cognisant of military veterans who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The loud noises and bright lights of fireworks can trigger some bad memories for military veterans. 

  • Eliminate the surprise of loud fireworks. If you know a veteran next door, knock on their door and let them know about your plans.
  • Be aware of the amount of time you use fireworks. Veterans are prepared for the July 4th celebrations but shooting off fireworks several for several days after the 4th or you're still shooting off fireworks in August, this is far more likely to stress out your neighbor.
  • Start with a few small fireworks. Begin your evening with some "low impact" fireworks and let it build from there. This will help reduce the onset of shock from sudden explosions in the sky without any warning.    

If a veteran suffers from anxiety or becomes distressed due to the large crowds and booming noises, there is a veterans crisis phone line at 1-800-273-8255, then press one. 

York County Ordnance on Fireworks:

  • (90.01) prohibit shooting fireworks from all boat landings.

South Carolina State Codes on fireworks are as follows:

(23-35-120) Sale to Minors; Circumstances Used Unlawful

  • It shall be unlawful to:
  • Sale to children under 14 years of age without a parent
  • Explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, or public school
  • Explode or ignite within 75 feet where fireworks are stored, sold, or offered for sale
  • Discharge in or throw from a motor vehicle
  • Throw into or at a motor vehicle

(23-35-150) Penalty: Violation of SC Regulation 71-8305.8

  • Use of Class “C” Fireworks – Class “C” Fireworks are defined as common consumer fireworks sold at retail stores.
  • It shall be deemed a violation of these regulations to:
  • Explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, public school, place of assembly, service station, bulk storage plant, or any other facility that stores or dispenses flammable liquids and/or hazardous materials
  • Explode or ignite within 75 feet where fireworks are stored, sold, or offered for sale
  • Discharge in or throw from a motor vehicle
  • Throw into or at a motor vehicle
  • Ignite or discharge fireworks in a wanton or reckless manner so as to constitute a threat to the personal safety or property of another

(23-35-175) Fireworks Prohibited Zones

  • Unlawful to discharge fireworks from, in, or into a fireworks prohibited zone.

Some Local Professional Fireworks Displays

  • Red, White & Boom - July 3rd Old Town Rock Hill, SC Fireworks to begin at 9:45 PM
  • Lake Wylie Fireworks Extravaganza - July 4 Lake Wylie Hwy. 49 (Buster Boyd Bridge area).  Fireworks to begin at approximately 9:30 PM
  • Carowinds celebrates the 4th of July -  On July 4, Carowinds will illuminate the skies above the Carolina state line during our annual fireworks celebration show! The show is set to start at 9:30 PM (**DO NOT STOP on the road or on I-77 to watch the fireworks display).   
  • City of York Fireworks Display - July 4th York Middle School. Fireworks to begin at dusk or 9:30 PM

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