What a difference a year has made. With many public July 4 festivities canceled in 2020 due to the global pandemic, fireworks finales are again a High Country thing, albeit in limited measures.

Still under caution, group events that surround the evening-capping pyrotechnics have largely been regulated to 2022 — we look very forward to Ashe County’s Christmas in July’s return next year — and that means many of us will be celebrating at home.

So, with this spirit in mind — and the fact that thousands of people are injured in July 4 fireworks accidents annually — we offer a few reminders from the National Safety Council for your DIY family extravaganza.

And note well, while some of these tips are obvious, it’s important to remember that they’re all listed here because someone, at sometime, did just the opposite.

1. The first thing to remember is that if it leaves the ground, it’s not a legal firework in North Carolina. Firecrackers are also in the “not allowed” category.

2. Fireworks handling isn’t for everyone. Young children should stand clear. Older children should have close adult supervision.

3. Wear protective eyewear if you’re the one lighting the fuse.

4. Never light fireworks indoors.

5. Never hold fireworks in your hands.

6. Use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable materials.

7. Don’t point a firework at anyone.

8. Don’t try to relight a “dud” firework.

9. Soak spent and unused fireworks for several hours before disposal.

10. Keep a bucket of water or garden hose close at hand.

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