ATLANTA — According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 280 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in July and around Independence Day.
Each year local fire rescue crews and police departments respond to calls on July 4th to either address a noise complaint or to treat an injury from misuse of fireworks.
A representative from the Atlanta Police Department said he wants to remind the public that fireworks are allowed to go off up until 11:59 p.m. on July 4, 2019.
Jason Pritchett, a Georgia Fire Marshall said, "We try to promote safety through education for everyone, and we try to make it as simple as possible."
Pritchett said that the Georgia Fire Marshalls have created a simple five-step plan to keep families and friends safe this holiday.
1. Always make sure that you are buying fireworks from a Georgia licensed vendor.
The Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner says that there are 128 licensed firework vendors throughout the state. They compiled a list by county, to make it easier to find the store closest to you.
2. People under 18 years old are not allowed to posses, ignite, or purchase fireworks.
Under Chapter 10 in Title 25 of Georgia Law, children are prohibited from having, using, and buying fireworks.
3. Be mindful of where the used fireworks will fall.
Georgia has some places where fireworks are banned. Do not light fireworks on roads or highways. It is also illegal to light fireworks within 100 yards of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, nuclear power plants, and gas stations or refineries.
Always make sure you are in an open outdoor area when lighting fireworks and remain at least 85 feet away from a display.
4. Take weather conditions into account.
If it seems too windy to light your fireworks, you may have to cancel the display. In poor or unpredictable weather conditions, fireworks can malfunction. In the event of unexpected weather issues, it is better just to postpone setting off fireworks.
5. Always follow the instructions on the fireworks packaging.
Fireworks typically come with a set of instructions on the outside of their packaging to let people know how to properly use them. Fire Marshall Pritchett advises that if these instructions are not displayed on the inside or outside of the firework packaging, take it back to the store immediately.
On behalf of the staff at 11 Alive, the Georgia Fire Marshalls, and Atlanta Police, have a happy and safe Independence Day.