Residents, visitors reminded of local fireworks rules and regulations ahead of 4th of July Weekend

[Submitted/County of Dare]

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, and with many events being planned—from professional fireworks shows to backyard barbecues and block party celebrations—Dare County officials want to remind residents and visitors of the rules and regulations that are in effect regarding fireworks on the Outer Banks.

The coastal communities located along the barrier islands of the Outer Banks frequently experience strong breezes and occasional high winds—and many of the year-round residences and rental properties in the area contain wooden shingles, wooden decks and wooden walkways that lead from the beach or waterfront back to the property.

This combination of wind, wood, dry dune grass and fireworks is a dangerous combination any time of the year—and it’s especially dangerous in the days leading up to the Fourth of July.

To ensure the safety of yourself, your family, your pets and your property this Fourth of July, plan on leaving the patriotic pyrotechnics to the professionals and enjoying one of the four local fireworks shows that are scheduled to take place in various locations throughout Dare County.

Outer Banks Fireworks Shows — Monday, July 4, 2022

Illegal Fireworks in Dare County

Please be advised that all fireworks are illegal in the following areas of Dare County:

  • Town of Duck
  • Town of Southern Shores
  • Town of Nags Head
  • Town of Manteo
  • Hatteras Island (Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras Village)
  • Some additional areas of unincorporated Dare County

Illegal fireworks in the state of North Carolina include devices that leave the ground—such as bottle rockets and mortars—and have a report or “bang.” Examples of these include firecrackers and M-80s. These types of devices are not legally available to purchase or to use in North Carolina.

Legal Fireworks in Dare County

The use of legal fireworks is allowed in the towns of Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, as well as Dare County’s unincorporated areas on Roanoke Island and the mainland villages within Dare County. 

Pyrotechnics, which are commonly known as “safe and sane” fireworks, are the only type of fireworks that are legally allowed in areas of North Carolina where local ordinances don’t prohibit their use entirely. These devices include caps, snakes and glow worms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers, sparklers and other sparkling devices, such as fountains.

Did You Know?

Each year, consumer fireworks injure thousands of people and cause millions of dollars in direct property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual fireworks report:

  • More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks each year.
  • Burns account for over 40 percent of the 9,100 injuries that are treated in emergency rooms in the month around July 4 each year.
  • Half of the fireworks injuries that are seen in emergency rooms involve extremities—hands, fingers or legs—and one-third of the fireworks injuries were to the eye or other parts of the head.
  • Children between the ages of 10 and 14 have the highest rate of fireworks injuries—with more than 1/3 of fireworks injuries victims being under age 15.
  • Sparklers—which burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—account for roughly 1/4 of fireworks-related emergency room visits.

Safety Tips for Legal Consumer Fireworks

If you do decide to use legal consumer fireworks in an area where the use of these devices is permitted, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  • Don’t allow children to play with or light the devices.
  • Light only one device at a time and quickly move away to enjoy the show.
  • Never place any part of your body overtop the device.
  • Have a bucket of water or water hose readily available where you are lighting the fireworks in case a fire starts.
  • Do not attempt to relight a device that does not ignite and properly fire. Instead, soak it in water before properly disposing of it.
  • Thoroughly soak all devices prior to disposing of them.

Pet Safety on the Fourth of July

Remember that pets are very sensitive to loud noises, strong smells and flashing lights, so they can easily become frightened or disoriented around fireworks. To ensure the safety of your pet, leave them safely indoors during fireworks shows so they don’t become scared and take off or injure themselves. The Humane Society of the United States also recommends leaving on a radio or TV to soften loud noises and help ease your pet’s anxiety during seasonal celebrations.

Before lighting any fireworks in Dare County—and to find out more information about the specific ordinances that are in effect in each town or village along the Outer Banks—visit