Fourth of July fireworks safety tips

Fireworks are legal in Georgia, but they are only as safe as the person lighting them. If you want to enjoy your fireworks without your house, hand, or pickup truck becoming a casualty, you’ll want to practice a few safety measures before you shoot off any fireworks on the fourth.

The Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services along with other Georgia fire departments strongly encourages residents to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks each year. Untrained firework handlers may experience severe injuries such as third-degree burns and permanent scars to the head, hands, neck, and eyes.

However, residents planning to use consumer-type fireworks as part of their Independence Day celebration should follow these safety tips:

  • Purchase fireworks from a licensed and reputable vendor
  • Read the directions carefully and inspect the device for any defects
  • Keep a bucket of water, garden hose and fire extinguisher close by
  • Ignite fireworks outdoors in an open area away from buildings, vehicles, vegetation or any other combustible material
  • Ignite only one device at a time, and use a “punk-stick” to maintain a safe distance 
  • Always keep a safe distance between yourself and the fireworks device
  • Remember to allow enough room for the proper functioning of fireworks 
  • Always ignite fireworks on a firm flat surface
  • Keep children away from firework area and never give fireworks to a child
  • Never attempt to fix or re-ignite a malfunctioning device; instead, discard it safely by soaking it in a bucket of water
  • Before going to bed or when leaving the area, remember to inspect the area where fireworks were used
  • Make sure that no smoldering fires, hot embers or sparks are present from falling fireworks debris; wet the area with a garden hose for added protection
  • Store unused fireworks in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children or pets and away from open flames 
  • When discarding fireworks, remember to always soak them in a bucket of water for several hours before placing them in the trash

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