Authorities remind Carolinians about fireworks safety ahead of Fourth of July

GASTONIA, N.C. — The Gastonia police and fire departments are teaming up to make sure fireworks don’t become a safety hazard this Fourth of July.

In 2021, three fires were reported because of people going overboard with fireworks. Several homes were badly damaged and one was destroyed.

Officials said “fireworks wars” have been a major problem for the last few years. Authorities shared messages encouraging people to use fireworks safely.

“We are trying to get ahead of this now so that we can mitigate some of those problems as we get closer to the fourth,” said Rick Goodale, with the Gastonia Police Department.

“Ground on fire, brush on fire, bottle rockets that land on the rook and in gutters,” said Jim Landis, with the Gastonia Fire Department.

Officials encourage people to go to a fireworks show instead.

They said most of the fireworks that cause problems are purchased in South Carolina and brought across the borders where they are banned.

It’s important to remember that if you’re setting off fireworks, aerial fireworks are illegal in North Carolina. That includes firecrackers and bottle rockets.

Sparklers and fountains are allowed, but people have to be at least 18 years old to buy them.

South Carolina has more relaxed laws, but M-80s, cherry bombs and small rockets are still illegal. People must be at least 16 to buy fireworks in the Palmetto State.

(WATCH BELOW: Fireworks: What you need to know)