Although many types of fireworks are legal in Georgia, residents need to be careful when using them. Fulton County Fire Rescue Department offers fireworks safety tips for a fun July 4th celebration.
“We want citizens to have fun, but safety is our first priority.” states Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few. “Even though the new law expands the sale of fireworks, the best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals.”
Fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5-19 and adults 35-44. Each July 4th, thousands of people, often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks.
Adults are strongly urged to keep children away from fireworks, including sparklers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides the following tips:
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
The new state law governing fireworks, HB 110, has certain provisions and times that revelers should be aware of:
1. The new state law allows for fireworks to be sold statewide in Georgia.
2. Fireworks can be used between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight (12 a.m.).
3. On Jan. 1, July 3, July 4 and on Dec. 31, fireworks can be used from 10 a.m. through 2 a.m.
4. Fireworks cannot be exploded within 100 yards of a nuclear power facility or gas station, or a facility that refines, processes, or blends gasoline.
5. Persons must be at least 18 years of age to purchase fireworks.
Nearly 90 percent of the fireworks injuries reported to emergency departments involved fireworks permitted under federal regulations, with many suffering injuries to their heads, eyes and extremities. Sixty-three percent of these injuries were burns.
For more information about the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department, log-on to www.fultoncountyga.gov. Follow them @FCFRD on Twitter.