Fireworks are one of those products that especially appeal to children while simultaneously posing an inherent danger. They are sparkly and shiny, they move fast and create smoke, and they only show up once a year. Any of these elements would likely attract a child’s attention, but put them all together and you have the ingredients for more than just a snap, crackle and pop.
While Georgia law does allow for the sale of sparklers and other similar non-explosive fireworks, just because something is legal, does not mean it is safe.
Sparklers, widely considered the most innocuous of fireworks, can burn at temperatures as high as 1800 degrees.
In Georgia, only small scale fireworks are allowed, but with many areas cancelling their fireworks shows, many people may be tempted to smuggle fireworks into the state to create shows of their own. Fireworks displays are not exactly an unobtrusive crime and you can rest assured that the law will be strictly enforced.
After all, last year 9,800 injuries were reported from fireworks. If that weren’t hazard enough, on a typical Independence Day there are twice as many fires reported than on a typical day.
Are you planning on adding personal fireworks to your 4th of July celebration? If so, keep these tips from the National Fireworks Safety Council in mind as part of your safe and healthy Independence Day:
1.) Use fireworks outdoors only
2.) Have a hose or water bucket handy in case of fire
3.) Use fireworks only as intended. Never try to combine two different fireworks because you could be in for more than you bargained for
4.) Never relight a “dud” firework. The proper safety precaution to take in this instance is to wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
5.) Users should wear safety glasses and remain a safe distance from spectators
6.) Just as you use a “Designated Driver” use a “Designated Shooter”
7.) Don’t allow anyone under the age of 12 to use fireworks of any type
8.) Never try to substitute homemade fireworks or illegal explosives. This is an accident waiting to happen
If you follow these tips (or better yet, simply attend a local area fireworks show), the only flashing lights you will see on the 4th are the sparkle of fireworks and not the glare of an ambulance.
Check with the American Pyrotechnics Association for fireworks laws in your state. Remember, fireworks are a fun distraction, but don’t forget to think long and hard about firework safety before lighting that fuse.
The MLN Law blog wishes you and your family and friends a happy 4th of July!