Public fireworks will be fewer and farther between this July 4, and even at where they will be held many will opt out for the year because of the still raging global pandemic.

Which all means that more and more of us will be celebrating at home, and with private explosives shows of our own. Of course, it’s always best to leave the fireworks to the professionals, but because that’s largely moot this year, a last-minute reminder: Be careful.

To note, being careful in North Carolina means more than it does in surrounding sates. While Virginia and Tennessee might have more liberal fireworks sales laws, in North Carolina if it leaves the ground, it’s not legal.

And even as you prepare your legal events, remember: safety first. Ensure you have adequate space and water or sand available for your site. Read the lighting and other directions that come with your prepackaged explosives. Don’t let children handle fireworks — not even sparklers, which can burn at a 2,000 metal-melting degree.

Each year, as the record books show us, our emergency departments will be filled with ill-executed July 4 happenings. It doesn’t have to be that way. Keep yourself and your family from being another statistic. Celebrate the Fourth of July with your loved ones — and a healthy dose of common sense.

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