CITY STEPS UP ENFORCEMENT OF FIREWORKS LAW --- FIRST OFFENSE BRINGS A TICKET, AND A REPEAT OFFENSE CAN RESULT IN A CUSTODIAL ARREST
Each year the majority of complaint calls handled by the City revolve around quality of life issues. Complaints about loud noise from the illegal discharge of fireworks make up a significant portion of the complaints received.
Last year we had an extremely high number of fireworks complaints, and the trend continues unabated in 2021.
The City and the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department adhere to a law enforcement philosophy that focuses on three steps – educate first, then warn, and as a last resort, cite or ticket. While that approach works well in most situations, it has not been very effective in helping to reduce the number of complaints generated by the illegal use of fireworks in the city limits. That is true in spite of the fact that the City, rental companies, accommodations, and others educate visitors to local laws.
Because of this situation, the City has changed the way it enforces its fireworks law--- a first offense of the fireworks law now brings with it a ticket, and a repeat offense can result in a custodial arrest.
The City’s law as it pertains to possession and ignition of fireworks is as follows:
Sec. 11-8. - Fireworks.
(a) Limitation on the sale, exchange of fireworks: It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, store, exchange, give away or possess for sale, commercial exchange or commercial gift, any fireworks, except in Limited Industrial Zones.
(b) Ignition or activation of fireworks prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, burn, or in any manner ignite or activate any fireworks.
Noise from fireworks disrupts sleep and otherwise degrades the quality of life for most residents and visitors.
We are also a community that is home to veterans and we are a vacation destination for a fair number of veterans, some of whom suffer from PTSD. They do suffer when fireworks are discharged and we do hear from them.
Pets also do not respond well to the noise of fireworks, which disrupts the quality of life for pet owners and their families. We hear from them.
Many of our residents work and need their sleep so that they can wake up fresh to meet the needs of other residents and visitors at their places of work. We hear from them when the fireworks go off.
Many of our visitors enjoy a full day at the beach and the other offerings available to them. They look forward to a good night’s sleep as well. When it is interrupted by fireworks, they are not happy, and we hear from them.
If you know someone who likes to set off fireworks in the city limits, please share this information with them.
If you need to report a fireworks complaint, please call Police Dispatch at 843-280-5511.