As the turn of the new year approaches, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King is urging Georgia residents to use extreme caution to avoid fires and severe injuries when using fireworks this New Year’s Eve.
“Each year in the U.S., hospital emergency rooms treat roughly 12,000 people for fireworks-related injuries,” King said. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires cause an average of 3 deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage. Click here to view of list of public New Year’s Eve fireworks displays around Georgia.
King offered the following fireworks safety suggestions to ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve:
- Purchase fireworks from a licensed fireworks dealer.
- Observe all state laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Read the labels carefully before igniting any fireworks.
- Ensure that an adult supervises all firework activities.
- Never allow children to ignite fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never try to relight a firework.
- Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Use caution with animals. Excitement, noise, and lights can cause fear and stress.
In 2015, the sale and use of most consumer types of fireworks, which include firecrackers, skyrockets, and roman candles, became legal to use in Georgia. For more on laws governing the use of fireworks in Georgia, please contact your local police or fire department. To find a licensed fireworks dealer in your area, call the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office at 800-656-2298.