Enquirer Herald

Know fireworks rules

Even the spontaneous cackles and bursts of fireworks have regulations in York County, and officials say they'll be taken seriously by dozens of law enforcement officers this July 4.

Code enforcement officer Joe Bennett advises residents to use their common sense and be safe.

"Be courteous, too," he said. "Your neighbors don't want fireworks being thrown at them or trash in their yard."

Churches, hospitals, asylums, schools, bulk storage plants and other facilities that store flammable liquids or hazardous materials are off-limits for throwing the patriotic explosives, according to state fireworks regulations.

Igniting fireworks in those places, and anywhere within 600 feet of them, is grounds for a ticket.

Fireworks also aren't allowed in what Bennett calls "common sense places," such as anywhere close to a gas station or fireworks stand.

In some towns, such as Clover, fireworks are allowed to be sold but not ignited within city limits. Fireworks can be purchased in South Carolina, but not sold to anyone under age 14 without a parent.

To be safe, there's a coverall law, too: Igniting or discharging fireworks in a reckless manner is prohibited. And that includes throwing fireworks inside cars, or from them, Bennett said.

Neighbors can declare their properties as "fireworks prohibited zones" by registering at the sheriff's office in their jurisdiction. Under these rules, fireworks cannot be fired in or out of the property.

Bennett said all aspects of the county sheriff's office will be patrolling on the holiday. And they won't just be dealing with fireworks, he said, but other trouble that comes along with the party.

"When you get a large group of people with diversity in those crowds, you need a diverse group of law enforcement to take care of it," he said.

Fireworks violations can result in tickets ranging from imprisonment to $200 on the first offense, $500 on the second offense and $1,000 on the third offense, according to state regulations.