Last minute advice to stay safe this 4th of July weekend - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Last minute advice to stay safe this 4th of July weekend

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(WTVM) -

It is always the thought that it won't happen to you, but fireworks safety, especially on the Fourth of July, is critical.

According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 5,000 people were treated for injuries nationwide last July and 3,000 of those injuries happened on the 4th, and the highest at risk were children ages five to 14.

"If people are going to shoot those in areas where it is legal, of course under all circumstances only adults should be the ones to actually use the fireworks and set them off," explains Deputy Chief Cary Sadler of the Columbus Fire Department. "You need to make sure that everybody is away and never attempt to light one that does not go off."

If people do choose to use their own fireworks, they must abide by their city's fireworks permit requirements and noise ordinances.

If you're caught lighting illegal fireworks off in Georgia you could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

"If anything explodes like a cherry bomb or a M-80, or a firecracker, those are not legal in the state of Georgia." says Insurance Safety Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens.

More than half of firework injuries reported are burns.

Forty-one percent of those burns were to the hands and fingers.

Sparklers are legal in many states because they are thought to be the safest kind of firework, but doctors say they see too many sparkler related injuries each year.

"It's much more dangerous than we really think. Even something has pretty as sparklers  can burn at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is certainly hot enough to cause injury to adults and children," explains James Black, Emergency Room Doctor at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany.

 So remember, play it safe when lighting up the sky and celebrating this holiday.

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