BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)- As the drought continues across South Carolina, setting off fireworks is a more dangerous way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

“There is always a concern that the fireworks could start a fire,” said Colt Roy, the Public Information Officer for the Whitesville Rural Fire Department.

There could be some rain between Monday and the weekend, but Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers says conditions will still be dangerous.

“So hopefully (the rain) will help things out. But it’s always really important to remember whenever we’ve been as dry as we’ve been things will light up more quickly,” said Marthers.

When lighting fireworks for the holiday, Roy suggests these following rules of thumb.

  • Light fireworks in an acre of open space.
  • Wet the ground with a hose before lighting.
  • Make sure there is no foliage above where you light the fireworks.
  • Read and follow all instructions on firework boxes.
  • Buy fireworks from authorized retailers only.
  • Face all fire works vertically.

“Be mindful. Keep an eye on whatever it is that you’re lighting and where it’s going whenever it’s done. Call 911 if you have any problems or questions,” said Roy.

Roy stresses that calling 911 is better to do earlier rather than later.

“We’d rather come out for a small fire than a large fire 30 minutes later. A lot of people don’t think they need to call 911 when in fact they do,” said Roy.

Aside from the risk of forest fires, Roy says that there are other safety tips you need to know including preventing burns that can cause severe damage to someone’s body.

“Normally they are very small burns, but very significant burns. It’s not something that covers a large portion of a person’s body, but it’s something that’s very small, very concentrated, very painful and has lasting implications health wise. We really don’t want to see anybody go through that,” said Roy.

Keeping tabs on your children and your alcohol consumption can also stop hazards.

“Sparklers are very popular among children and they burn hot. We want everybody to keep an eye on their kids,” said Roy. “Please wait to celebrate (with alcohol) until after the fireworks have been shot.”

The Whitesville Rural Fire Department, the Charleston Fire Department and the Sullivan’s Island Fire Department all encourage neighbors to watch a public show instead of setting off their own fireworks.