Fireworks sales booming in NC as many cities, towns cancel public celebrations

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With a majority of large fireworks shows canceled because of COVID-19, sellers are reporting a spike in sales.

“I can see my numbers are definitely up. Some of my numbers have tripled,” said Liz Gary, who operates the TNT Fireworks tent off New Bern Avenue in Raleigh.

Customers like Beverly Jeffries tell CBS 17 they’re planning to celebrate the Fourth of July at home.

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“We’ve just bought a couple items and we’re just going to stay at home and celebrate with you know, social distancing,” she said.

Gary said some customers have come in searching for something bigger.

“The first thing they say usually is, ‘show me something that goes all the way up to the sky, I want something that’s gonna blow up,’” she said.

In North Carolina, fireworks that explode are illegal. That includes aerial fireworks, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and roman candles.

Wake County EMS warns that even legal fireworks can cause major injuries.

“We’re talking about very serious burns, and hearing damage and that type of thing and that typically comes from being too close in,” said Jeffrey Hammerstein, assistant chief for Wake County EMS.

If you do light fireworks at home, Hammerstein suggests avoiding lightning them while drinking alcohol, double-check you have enough clearance, and keep an eye on children.

“So often, something that starts out as a fun, family celebration can change a life in a matter of seconds if you’re not paying close attention to it,” he said.

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