Authorities warn of predators and danger at NC fireworks events

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands came out to watch some great July 4th fireworks in Wake Forest Sunday night.

Behind the scenes police and fire departments were making sure everything went off without a hitch. And if you plan on heading out to a July 4th event, they want you to keep safety in mind.

“There are predators here. And unfortunately people like that are opportunistic and they’re going to target areas where children may well be,” said Lt. Larry Danforth with Wake Forest Police.

LIST: Fourth of July celebrations in central North Carolina

No matter where you’re celebrating this July 4th, law enforcement will be out in force, patrolling for such an instance. But, they still want parents to be vigilant about keeping an eye on their little ones.

“The older kids it’s not as much of a problem, but the younger kids-my advice is just to hold your kid’s hand. You don’t want your kid meandering off,” said Danforth.

Kids can get separated from parents quickly in a busy crowd with folks clamoring to get a good spot for fireworks.

When the fireworks do off, that’s where firefighters come in.

“We’re staged pretty much all the way around the facility with trucks and EMTs in case there is an injury,” said Wake Forest Asst. Fire Chief Daryl Cash.

An injury could be a routine one, or one from a fireworks show gone wrong. To prevent a miss-hap, spectators have to be a certain distance from where the pyrotechnics are being fired.

“There can be no civilians within 200 yards of that circle,” said Cash.

But, most localities opt for an even greater distance.

If you’re planning to create your own show at home, firefighters urge you to stick to legal fireworks like sparklers and glow worms, and use caution to avoid injuries.

“It’s designed to lay it on the ground, lay it on a hard surface and light it, and move away to a safe area,” said Cash.

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