GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It is just days away from fireworks hitting the skies for the Fourth of July.
While they may be fun, they can also be dangerous.
On average, 250 people go to the emergency room for firework-related injuries every year.
To prevent injuries, fireworks tents must be inspected by the Greenville Deputy Fire Marshal before they can be put up.
“Prior to our setting up, we have to have permits from the city and the fire department to allow us to do this,” said tent owner William Still.
Starting a month before the Fourth, Greenville Fire and Rescue checks off every single tent in town.
Deputy Fire Marshal Lieutenant Patrick Dunn shares the things he looks for when inspecting a tent.
“I make sure we have an entrance in and out of the tent,” Lt. Dunn said. “One of the other things we look for is to make sure we have a fire extinguisher that is good, visible and accessible. ‘No smoking’ signs must be throughout the tent. Every customer that comes in knows that there is no smoking in this area. The fireworks inside the tent must be consumer fireworks. Customers must be at least 18 years of age to purchase. We look for an inventory list to make sure there is nothing here that is not a consumer firework.”
The Deputy Fire Marshal also makes sure there aren’t any bottlerockets or firecrackers hiding somewhere in the tent. In North Carolina, it is illegal to sell fireworks that explode or shoot into the air.
Sellers say they think the laws in North Carolina are appropriate and keep a fun and meaningful holiday from becoming dangerous.
“I think it’s excellent that they do that because that’s the only way to keep tabs on what’s being sold and the only way that they know that people that shop there will be safe,” Still said.