ATLANTA — The Fourth of July is just around the corner, which means one thing; fireworks!
However, before stocking up for a weekend of festivities, be sure you're aware of the various laws surrounding where you can set off these combustible items and which you can legally purchase in the first place.
You wouldn't want the Fourth of July fun to come to a swift end by hurting someone or getting in trouble with local authorities.
What fireworks can you buy in Georgia?
All fireworks classified as DOT 1.4G (consumer fireworks) in Georgia are legal to purchase and use as stated in the Georgia General Assembly House Bill 727. The fireworks that you can legally buy in retail stores across Georgia include:
- Bottle Rockets
- Sky Rockets
- Roman Candles
- Smoke and Punk
- Crackle and Strobe
- Wheels and Spinners
- Sky Flyers
- Display Shells
- Aerial Items (Cakes)
Who Can Buy Consumer Fireworks in Georgia?
In Georgia, you must be 18 years or older to purchase fireworks. There is not an exact age for igniting them, but Georgia.gov reminds residents to remember that most injuries happen to kids under 16.
It is illegal to light fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When Can You Light Fireworks in Georgia?
While technically, you can ignite fireworks all year, they were meant for the holidays. In particular, July 4 and New Year's. On those days, the hours are extended:
New Years: until 1 a.m.
Fourth of July: until midnight
Any other day: Between 10 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Note: New legislation effective July 1, 2018, gives local authorities the option to restrict the use of fireworks at certain times, provided the restriction is part of a general noise ordinance that does not apply solely to fireworks.
Where Can You Light Fireworks in Georgia?
It depends on where you live. Some private communities, including HOAs, condos or apartment complexes, may prohibit fireworks, while others may set aside a spot to ignite them. Bottom line: check your communities laws and bylines to be sure.
Fireworks are banned in some places, including on roads and highways.
It is illegal to light fireworks within 100 yards of a:
- Electric plant
- Water treatment plant
- Waste-water treatment plant
- Gas station
- Electric substation
- Jail or prison
- Nursing home
- Other health care facility
Fireworks are strictly prohibited in state parks, according the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Parks and Historic Sites. They are also banned in other public parks except for those with a special license.
Remember that while they may be legal, consumer fireworks are considered hazardous materials (hazmat) division 1.4G explosives. Be mindful of the laws when purchasing and lighting them off to ensure the safety of everyone.