Just because you can buy fireworks in grocery stores doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.
Public safety officials across the state are flooding social media to make sure that Georgia residents are informed on the state's fireworks laws and to be sure they're aware of how to stay safe this holiday.
Information provided by Georgia.gov
What fireworks can you buy in Georgia?
In Georgia, all fireworks classified as DOT 1.4G (consumer fireworks) 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 really 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: Any 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.
There are some places where fireworks are banned, 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.
Keep in mind 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.
Fireworks Facts (from Georgia.gov)
A 5% sales tax on fireworks sold in Georgia goes toward the state’s trauma care network, training and equipment for Georgia firefighters.
The younger you are, the more likely you will be injured by fireworks. The risk of injury from fireworks is highest for the 0-4 age group, followed by children 10-14 years old.
Sparklers are deceivingly benign. They can actually burn as hot as 2,000° F and account for 79% of injuries to children under 5 years old.
China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world — supplying 90% of all fireworks.
DeKalb County Fire Captain Eric Jackson said those who choose to light fireworks should take these precautions:
- Light them on level concrete
- Wear safety clothing. That means be fully clothed, with no loose or hanging clothes that could catch fire.
- Wear eye protection
Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens offers these additional tips:
- Always read and follow label directions
- Only use fireworks outdoors
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
- Only light one firework at a time
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Fireworks should only be used with close adult supervision
- Never give fireworks to small children
- Be sure to have water handy
- Never throw fireworks at another person
- Remember to call your local 911 for emergencies