]DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Right before the Fourth of July, North Carolinians cross the border to buy the big fireworks in South Carolina.
“We used to do it every single year,” said Allen Murphy. “It’s like a family get-together and that’s what was a big thing for us.”
Murphy traveled to South Carolina from Raleigh and spent more than $1,000 Thursday on fireworks he’s going to light up in his neighborhood. He’s not the only one.
“North Carolina doesn’t offer the stores and stuff to purchase because you can’t have them up there,” said Stephanie Lanier. “So you gotta drive down to South Carolina to get them.”
“In North Carolina, the only thing that’s legal are the things that stay on the ground and just makes sparks,” said Chief Mark Schell, with the Durham County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Schell is asking everyone in the Bull City to go see a community fireworks show, leaving the work to the professionals.
“It’s tempting to light fireworks and do your own thing,” he said. “The big bang at the picnic and the cool displays, but they really are dangerous.”
Schell says starting two weeks before the Fourth, until two weeks after the holiday, there is an average of 200 hospital visits per day related to burns from fireworks.
But even that doesn’t dissuade Murphy.
“You can go to all the shows that you want, and they’re nice,” said Murphy. “But I like to be sort of hands on with it.”
If you decide to light fireworks at home, stay away from wooded areas, and use a garden hose to wet the grass so that the grass is not dry and waiting to ignite.